27 September 2001 18:01 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--French chemical workers' union FCE-CFDT has challenged blanket demands for hazardous industrial plants to be closed or moved away from urban areas following last Friday's disaster at the Grande Paroisse fertiliser facility in Toulouse, southwest France.
The union said in a statement distributed by the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM), that politicians "seem to be trying to duck responsibility for their own decisions on urban planning".
"The chemical, energy and oil industries are essential and our societies could not do without them," FCE-CFDT stressed. "Unless we transfer their dangers to other populations elsewhere in the world, which would be unacceptable and irresponsible, then what is needed is the identification of risks, openness about their realities and concerted control of them."
It is in this context, the union added, that "the situation of enclaved sites [within urban areas] should be examined case by case."
The FCE-CFDT said the safety of employees and the population, respect for the environment, employment levels and employment conditions were interdependent issues.
It called for national and regional round-table talks between the public authorities, politicians, enterprises and the "associations concerned".
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