strike renewed at TotalEnergie and ExxonMobil, but situation at gas stations “must continue to improve,” government says

At 12 noon on Saturday, Oct. 8, just over one in five stations (20.7%) had delivery problems on at least one type of fuel, according to the Ministry of Energy Transition.

Tension in the supply of many petrol stations in France should continue after the CGT announced on Sunday 9 October that the strike had been renewed at several refineries and fuel depots of TotalEnergies and Esso-ExxonMobil. The move lasts ten days and mechanically leads to a decrease in deliveries of petrol and diesel.

“In the absence of a response from the general management” on Saturday’s open letter, “the movement has been renewed everywhere”, announced Eric Sellini, CGT coordinator at TotalEnergies. This concerns the refinery in Normandy, which alone represents 22% of the area’s refining capacity, that of Feyzin, the biorefinery de La Mède and the fuel depot of Flanders. ExxonMobil’s two sites in Normandy and Fos-sur-Mer are: “Sunday still in total stop”added Christophe Aubert, CGT manager.

The dispute concerns wage claims. At TotalEnergies, the union demands an increase of 10% on 1er January, retroactive to 2022, including 7% to make up for the effects of inflation and 3% to “Sharing the Wealth”while the group announced 10.9 billion euros in profit in the first half and payment to its shareholders an exceptional interim dividend of 2.62 billion euros.

Management recalls that wages rose by an average of 3.5% in 2022 and refers to the wage negotiations scheduled for November 15, 2023. In its letter, the union had proposed that from October 10 only negotiate her wages. Ever since, “It’s radio silence”Eric Sellini summarized.

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Short-term solutions and inciting social dialogue

As the crisis continued and the dialogue stalled, the government played on several fronts to find a way out:

  • Look for short-term solutions to solve the supply problems, which are especially serious in Ile-de-France and Hauts-de-France. One of them consisted of to allow trucks over 7.5 tons carrying hydrocarbons to run on Saturday 8, Sunday 9 and Monday 10 October.
  • Reassure the public by reminding that there are fuel reserves and no restrictions on the pump are being considered. “We have released strategic inventory”Christophe Béchu, Minister of Ecological Transition, announced on Saturday france info. His ministry then completed by stating that: “France has 90 days of consumption in strategic stocks on its territory and the supply outlook for the coming weeks and months will rule out any risk of a lasting shortage.”
  • Finally, publicly urge TotalEnergies management and unions” so that these wage negotiations succeed and do not disadvantage the French”, as Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne did on Friday. TotalEnergies manages almost a third of the petrol stations in France. If the government wanted to remain neutral, the right-wing opposition, through the vote of the president of the group Les Républicains au Sénat, Bruno Retailleau, would publicly the CGT. attacked That “Can’t take France hostage”.

According to the Ministry of Energy Transition, just over one in five stations (20.7%) experienced delivery problems on at least one type of fuel at noon on Saturday. Nearly 40% of gas stations in Pas-de-Calais and in the north were affected. The figures for Sunday have not yet been communicated, but according to the Ministry of Ecological Transition “the situation must continue to improve”.

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The world with AFP