March 18, 2019 / 4:57 PM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-Strike halts production at Bunge's French oilseed factory

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PARIS, March 18 (Reuters) - Production at Bunge’s oilseed crushing factory in the northwestern French port of Brest has been at a standstill for the past week due to a strike following a fire in a storage silo, the U.S. agribusiness group said on Monday.

Production was stopped last Monday ahead of strike action which began on March 12, Bunge said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

The company did not detail the reasons for the ongoing strike. Local media reported the walkout was triggered by safety concerns regarding the fire, which also prompted salary demands.

The factory, which mainly crushes imported soybeans for oil and livestock feed, can process 700,000 tonnes of oilseeds annually and employs around 50 people, the firm said.

The company is in the process of removing material from the silo affected by the fire and has decided to bring forward maintenance work for the four other silos at the site, it said.

The fire was first detected on Feb. 27 and was completely extinguished on March 13, according to the local authorities.

Reporting by Valerie Parent Writing by Gus Trompiz Editing by Bate Felix and Kirsten Donovan

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