- Title: TUNISIA: Eni oil processing centre in Tazarka blocked by demonstrators
- Date: 30th October 2011
- Summary: TAZARKA, TUNISIA (OCTOBER 27, 2011) (REUTERS) ROAD LEADING TO HYDROCARBON REFINERY WHERE WORKERS ARE HOLDING STRIKE CLOSE OF REFINERY ROAD SIGN HAZARD WARNING SIGNS OUTSIDE REFINERY 'STOP' SIGN AT REFINERY GATE VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS GATHERING OUTSIDE THE REFINERY CLOSE OF PROTESTERS SITTING DOWN CLOSE OF CHAIN LOCKING GATE GOING INTO REFINERY VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS OUTSIDE THE GATE MAN DISTRIBUTING CROISSANTS TO PROTESTERS SITTING OUTSIDE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) WORKER SPOKESMAN, REDA BENSALAH, SAYING: "We called the manager so we can have a meeting with the Italians. He asked us to stop protesting, but we won't until we have our rights but it looks like our rights are nothing to this company, we want this company to help 300 poor families in need here, employ 100 workers, and to give 170 thousand dinars to associations in need of them in the village." PROTESTERS SMOKING OUTSIDE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) WORKER SPOKESMAN, REDA BENSALAH, SAYING: "This Italian company is lying to us, the worker can tell you that they call us and we give them food, we have been helping theM, we give them medicine, Tunisians and foreigners alike,in return the company just lies." REFINERY WORKERS SEEN TROUGH GATE WORKER CLOSING WINDOW OF REFINERY PROTESTER GAZING AT WORKERS THROUGH THE GATE REFINERY WALKING FROM HIS CAR TO REFINERY CLOSE OF REFINERY ADMINSTRATION OFFICE SIGN PROTESTING VILLAGERS GATHERING IN A CIRCLE PROTESTERS SHOUTING: "DEGAGE" OR "GO AWAY" PROTESTERS CHANTING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CITIZEN LIVING NEAR REFINERY, SHALBIA BENSALAH, SAYING: "We have felt the effect of the gas even to our house, there is are lots of effect, from sounds, from heat from smoke, even the soil has been spoilt for farming, we are not against the work, we just want to get our rights." VARIOUS OF REFINERY / SMOKE COMING OF CHIMNEY VARIOUS OF WARNING SIGN READING: "OIL/GAS PIPELINES" GAS BURNING IN AIR FROM REFINERY VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WORKING IN LAND, PLANTING SEEDS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FARMER NEAR REFINERY, MOHAMED BRIMIS, SAYING: "This land that I work in it and rent it and I can't get enough money out of it for me and to look after it, there is dirt and waste coming from refinery, it brings sickness, they have to find us a solution, they either compensate us or they find a different solution." BRIMIS WORKING IN HIS FARM VARIOUS OF REFINERY TORCH
- Embargoed: 14th November 2011 12:00
- Location: Tunisia, Tunisia
- Country: Tunisia
- Topics: Business,Politics,Energy
- Reuters ID: LVA9IH84JCLZJ3DZ55U7A4DEURAS
- Story Text: Local residents in the city of Tazarka, 70 km south east of Tunis, continued their blockade of employees of an Italian oil company inside their plant on Thursday (October 27), taking their protest against the company to nearly a week.
Villagers have been gathering daily outside the refinery gates restricting access in and out of the gas refinery, only allowing food and medicine delivery to the affected staff inside, some of whom are Tunisians.
"We called the manager so we can have a meeting with the Italians. He asked us to stop protesting, but we won't until we have our rights but it looks like our rights are nothing to this company, we want this company to help 300 poor families in need here, employ 100 workers, and to give 170 thousand dinars to associations in need of them in the village," said worker spokesman Reda Bensalah.
Bensalah said they were angry at the Italian refinery, which they say hasn't delivered the jobs or benefits originally promised to the local community.
"This Italian company is lying to us, the worker can tell you that they call us and we give them food, we have been helping the, we give them medicine, Tunisians and foreigners alike,in return the company just lies," added Bensalah.
When the Italian company came 3 years ago to operate the refinery, they promised 100 jobs for local villagers as well as building roads and schools, the villagers say that 3 years on, the refinery has delivered nothing but waste, gas emissions and pollution which has made villagers lives worst, they say.
A statement issued by the Tunisian Industry and Technology Ministry denied the protesters had made demands.
"The attackers have not made union demands or demands related to the activities carried out at the station, but have asked for several kinds of funding," the statement The statement said confined staff has no food and medicines and the situation got worse today, with three people taken to hospital with serious health problems. The centre works together with Enterprise Tunisienne d'ActivitÃ©s PÃ¨troliÃ©res (Etap) and treats the output of the off-shore oil fields of Maamoura and Baraka, respectively 30 and 50 kilometres off the Tunisian coast.
Villagers say they are unable to sleep from the noise of the refinery, their land has been ruined by waste and emissions and they have even reported cases of children getting sick from refinery emissions.
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