Internal restructuring
Nord - Pas-De-Calais;
Location of affected unit(s)
Mining / Quarrying
Mining And Quarrying
Extraction Of Crude Petroleum And Natural Gas
06 - Extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas

370 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
240 jobs
Number of planned job creations
Job creation
Announcement Date
8 March 2010
Employment effect (start)
8 March 2010
Foreseen end date


Oil multinational Total announced that it is to close a refinery employing 370 people in Dunkirk with immediate effect. All of the site's permanent employees have been promised new employment within the group under plans to launch new operations there (an operational support centre, a refining training centre and a logistics depot).

Unions are fiercely critical of the restructuring as the new project in Dunkirk will only employ 240 people. 200 to 300 demonstrators reacted to the announcement of the refinery's closure by smashing windows at Total's Paris headquarters and clashing with riot police.

A company statement said: "The collapse in petroleum product demand in France, Europe and the United States has compelled Total to adjust its refining capacity, in particular in northern France." The Dunkirk refinery lost more than €130 million in 2009 and production had been suspended since 2009.


  • 8 March 2010: Total press release
  • 9 March 2010: The Times
  • 10 March 2010: Le Monde
  • : (www.total.com)


Eurofound (2010), Total, Internal restructuring in France, factsheet number 70326, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/70326.