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Strike at SABIC Dutch plant hits output

ALKHOBAR: A strike by workers at the SABIC Europe Chemicals Geleen plant in the Netherlands has cut production, the company’s Saudi Arabian owner said yesterday.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) said in a bourse statement that talks with a union over working conditions had not yet been successful and that it did not know what impact the strike would have on profits or production.
“The decrease in production began 31/1/2013 due to the proactive measure taken by the union work force as a consequence of no finalized agreement regarding work conditions,” it said in the statement.
In Geleen, SABIC has two naphtha crackers and several polymerization plants to produce polyethylene and polypropylene. Galeen produces 1.25 million tons per year of ethylene, 725,000 tons per year of propylene, 940,000 tons per year of polyethylene, and 620,000 tons per year of polypropylene.
“It is not possible to determine the financial effect or the effect on production capacity, at this time, because the affected plants are not yet known,” SABIC added in the statement.
A SABIC spokesman in Europe said the disagreement was over payments to staff who might become redundant.
De Unie, one of the unions involved in the strike action, said SABIC wanted to cut back sharply on the support offered to laid-off workers to help them find new jobs.

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