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Morocco: workers take action for oil refinery

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26 January, 2022On 18 January, around 250 workers at Samir oil refinery marched the 1,200 metres from company headquarters to the coastal road to highlight the workers’ precarious situation after the company stopped production more than six years ago due to a failed privatization deal. Workers are calling for government intervention to save the refinery and their jobs.

The march was called by the Trade Union Council of Conféderation Démocratique du Travail (CDT). They also joined a one-day hunger strike.

The refinery used to provide 1,000 direct jobs and 5,000 indirect ones. Currently, only maintenance work is carried out at the plant. Workers are holding the government responsible after the privatization of the oil refinery in 1997 and its subsequent mismanagement by Saudi investor Alamoudi.


On 20 January, the Casablanca Commercial Court renewed the permission for Samir to resume activities for three months. The decision is an opportunity to continue to push for the company to resume activities. 

The government is the largest creditor of the refinery.  Workers and trade unionists are campaigning for the government to intervene themselves or to encourage private investors to buy and run the refinery.

Al-Hussein Al-Yamani, general secretary of Syndicat National des Industries du Pétrole & Gaz Naturel (SNIPGN-CDT), says:

"The court's efforts will be in vain if the government continues its negative attitude towards the issue and evades responsibility in assisting a solution. We call on the government to save what can be saved. The continued disruption of the company’s activity has had repercussions on fuel prices, which have risen dramatically, in addition to social and material losses."