Workers to protest against closure of Matosinhos refinery

By TPN/Lusa, in Business, North, Lisbon, Economy · 13-03-2021 12:00:00 · 5 Comments

The workers of Galp's refinery in Matosinhos, which is expected to close by the end of the year, will contest this decision at the residences of the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic, in Lisbon, on 18 March.

"No to the closure of the refinery" is the message that the workers want to take to António Costa and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, respectively, who they accuse of "shirking their responsibilities," said the Oil Industry and Trade Union (SICOP), in a note distributed to workers and to which Lusa had access.

According to the document, the demonstration will have two locations: one at 10:30am next to the Prime Minister's official residence and another at 12pm in front of the President of the Republic's residence.

Galp announced in December 2020 its intention to concentrate its refining operations and future developments in the Sines complex and discontinue refining in Matosinhos, district of Porto, this year.

The decision jeopardises 500 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs, according to union estimates.

For the union, António Costa and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa refuse to intervene to reverse the intention to close the refinery.

"The Prime Minister 'pushes' for the Ministry of the Environment, as if this issue were merely environmental, and the President of the Republic does not comply, nor enforce the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic," he agrued.

The union defends the continuity of the refinery, employment with rights and the regional and national economy, he explained.

This is already the fourth protest of the refinery workers who say that they "will do everything possible" to defend the industrial unit.

After a plenary session of workers at the Matosinhos City Hall, on 12 January, they demonstrated on 2 February in front of Galp's headquarters and the Prime Minister's residence, and on 25 February, at the Porto City Hall.

The state is one of Galp's shareholders, with a 7 percent stake, through Parpública.

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Of course it's a big problem and very regrettable when people lose jobs. But like it or not, the move towards sustainable energy policy and addressing environmental / climate change issues is irreversible. The only path forward for affected people is to anticipate these changes and try to adapt / reskill rather than just tie the blindfold tighter!

By George from Other on 21-03-2021 10:45

It stinks when workers lose their jobs and livelihoods when businesses either close or go out of business. The bottom line is businesses are in business to make money. If they stop making money they then have to re tool, re organize, of find other ways to stop the bleeding and go back to making a profit. I bet Galp would not be closing this refinery if it were making money. Unfortunately thats how business works .

By Tony B from USA on 15-03-2021 03:25

I live close to this factory. You can't sleep with open windows at night because of noise.
There are days when Perafita and Laura are completely covered by smoke.
About 5 km of the promenade from Leca da Palmeira to Perafita stink of natural gas and chemicals.

By SS from Porto on 15-03-2021 10:21

This look more like payoff and political decision than real economic one. What is the economics to justify this since Government controls this decision. Government rule the energy development for it not the Marxist place and since it base political ideas it will cost more and hurt more citizens.

If it economic decisions that one reason I can except but works are willing to do what takes to make work yet the Government does not want it. Energy companies obey Government for it form of political dictatorship.

Sorry for workers they have move and still what is the economic case to shut it down given workers will do what takes to make place work.

It just sad to see no hope base on Government dictatorship. If the union are against you then you are out in the cold. really do they need to do this is the real question.

By Scott M. Bartley from USA on 14-03-2021 10:46

A vital Industry closing. Says a lot!
Because corrupt politicians always do the right thing.

By rod from USA on 13-03-2021 12:40
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