Casablanca’s commercial court issued a decree authorizing the continuation of the company’s activity for three months, the 12th extension of its kind after the company entered the judicial liquidation system since 2016 without success in selling.
Permission to keep Samir means that the contract of employment for its employees is maintained, in accordance with article 652 of the Trade Code, which provides that if the public interest or interest of creditors requires the continued activity of the subject to liquidation, or at the request of the Custodian of Syndic or the King’s Undersecretary.
The extension represents a new opportunity to investigate the case of the company’s judicial negligence, but this effort has lasted more than two years, a situation that raises the fears of workers associated with the refinery located in the city of Mohammadia which was owned by Saudi businessman Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi.
“The creation of a new refinery in Morocco is less expensive than restarting the refinery of Samir,” said Aziz Rabbah, minister of energy, minerals and sustainable development.
The workers received the comments with much anger, saying: “It is not the first of its kind that goes in vain to miss the only refinery in Morocco, which has made large investments. Today, its debts reached 42 billion dirhams, in addition to a judgment issued a few weeks ago about 37 billion dirhams”, they said.
According to a trade union source from the Samir refinery, “the statements of the government official have a negative effect on the efforts of the Syndic appointed by the Casablanca Commercial Court,” adding that the minister “alienates any potential buyer of this company and opposes the interests of dozens of families.”
Workers have already sent calls to the prime minister, interior minister and sectors concerned to intervene to save the refinery and prevent the loss of about 800 jobs in the company, which is considered a major engine of economy in Mohammadia, but the government refuses to intervene.
The workers support the company’s return to the state, which was in its former ownership and privatized in the 1990s as part of a major campaign, after the government invested heavily in its infrastructure and capacity of storage and refining.