In Niger Refinery operations back to normal after strike

Workers at the plant, which employs more than 400 Nigeriens, staged a series of protests last year because of pay discrepancies between local and Chinese employees.

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A Refinery play

A Refinery

(Guardian)
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Operations restarted at Niger's only oil refinery at the weekend after a strike over working conditions and pay disrupted fuel deliveries for three days, a union official said on Sunday.

The strike at the Soraz refinery, a joint venture between China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and the Niger government, began on Wednesday, restricting deliveries of oil products from the plant.

Workers at the plant, which employs more than 400 Nigeriens, staged a series of protests last year because of pay discrepancies between local and Chinese employees.

Cisse Amadou, spokesman for the oil workers' union, said that 80 tankers loaded with fuel during the strike, down from the usual 300.

Further strikes are planned because many of the workers' demands have not been met, he added.

Soraz processes about 12,000 to 16,000 barrels of oil per day, offering Niger's only large-scale means of transforming crude oil into petroleum products such as gasoline.

An official at the oil ministry acknowledged the strike this week but said that supplies would not be disrupted because deliveries can be drawn from stockpiles.

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