(Releads, adds union statement, detail and background)
By Giancarlo Navach and Oleg Vukmanovic
MILAN, July 18 A one-day strike will shut all of
oil and gas group Eni SpA's Italian operations on July
29 to protest at management plans to permanently close or
convert some of the company's unprofitable refineries, labour
unions said on Friday.
The 30,000-strong strike will include most of Eni's Italian
staff and will lead to the shutdown of refineries, petrochemical
and other production activities, as well as commercial,
administrative and other offices, the statement said.
The escalating stand-off between unions and Eni will likely
cast a shadow over the unveiling of new CEO Claudio Descalzi's
strategy presentation on July 31.
Industry sources say Descalzi is readying a plan to shed
loss-making business lines, such as the company's Italian
refineries, and strengthen Eni's push into more profitable oil
and gas exploration activities.
For other non-Eni operated refineries, the strike is
expected to last only two hours, the statement said.
On the day of the strike, unions plan to stage a national
demonstration in Rome at 3 p.m. (1600 GMT).
Worker protests at Italian companies are mounting in the
face of record high unemployment levels, as the country
struggles to emerge from its longest recession in 70 years.
Union bosses have told Reuters that Eni's plans to
restructure its domestic refining business could lead to the
loss of up to 6,000 jobs and the permanent closure of sites at
Gela, Taranto, Livorno, Porto Marghera and Priolo.
Eni's loss-making refining business is the Achilles' heel of
the state-controlled group and Eni could suffer a credit rating
downgrade if it fails to turn it around, Fitch Ratings warned
(Reporting by Giancarlo Navach and Oleg Vukmanovic; Editing by