Fuels: the strike at TotalEnergies is renewed, the movement extends to service stations

Fuels: the strike at TotalEnergies is renewed, the movement extends to service stations

Malgré les pressions croissantes du gouvernement, the CGT and the direction of TotalEnergies n’avaient toujours pas ouvert les négociations lundi sur une hausse des salaires, après près de deux semaines de grève que provoquent des pénuries de carburants dans presque un tiers des stations-services from France. The strike is thus renewed until Tuesday, and the movement now extends directly to certain service stations of the group, the CGT announced on Monday.

TotalEnergies offered on Sunday to bring forward planned wage negotiations from November to October (no specific date), provided that currently blocked refineries and warehouses resume work. A “blackmail”, responded the union on Monday. At the Le Havre refinery, striking employees voted this afternoon for the continuation of their movement, journalists on the spot report.

On the side of Esso-ExxonMobil, the two refineries of Notre-Dame-de-Gravenchon in Normandy and Fos-sur-Mer (Bouches-du-Rhône) were still stopped, the strikers had decided on Monday to renew the movement. explained the CGT. A meeting is to be held at the end of the day in Matignon in the archive.

A reported blackmail

“TotalEnergies is trying to impose a suspension of the strike before any bargaining meeting and therefore before any wage increase proposal. This attempt is perceived as blackmail by the CGT and in no way guarantees the satisfaction of the expressed demands and therefore the resumption of work,” the union said in a press release sent to AFP. “The Coordination of TotalEnergies CGT Unions reaffirms its willingness to negotiate as quickly as possible, without being blackmailed. For this, it calls for an immediate meeting on the issue of wages and the establishment of a timetable to respond to the demands for employment and investment”, indicated the coordination, which therefore did not seem to want to lift the immediate blockades.

“The blackmail, currently, is the French who live it, so the goal is to get out of this situation,” Jean-Marc Durand, TotalEnergies Europe refining director, had declared a little earlier on BFMTV.

“We want those who bother the French to stop as soon as possible, that’s why we want to sit down at the negotiating table, we can do it in a serene environment, and not under a system of blocking supplies to the French,” he continued. . Michel-Édouard Leclerc, director of the brand of the same name, was quite optimistic on Monday. Asked by CNews, although his group is one of the largest buyers of fuel in France, he assures that “echoes that we have will be resolved within the week.” He also judges that, if “the CGT takes the French hostage making the balance of power”, he is not surprised. According to him, after Total announced record profits, very large dividend payments and a discount for consumers, “it was normal for employees to claim their fair share.”

The Executive “puts the pressure”

According to a latest update published by the Ministry of Energy Transition at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, almost a third (29.7%) of service stations in France were without at least one fuel (compared to 21% on Saturday). .

What generated some concern in the leadership of the State, which led President Emmanuel Macron to call on Friday, from Prague, the oil companies and unions to “responsibility” and motorists to calm. This discontent occurs precisely a few days before a march “against the high cost of living”, which is called by the opposition forces of Nupes next Sunday.

“We are pressing so that the dialogue can be established as soon as possible,” Public Accounts Minister Gabriel Attal told France Inter on Monday. “I always find it quite curious to make a preventive stoppage even if a debate is announced,” he added.

10% increase

The group’s management wants the negotiations to focus on salaries for 2023. But given the high inflation, it is 2022 that the CGT wants to talk about, which has been demanding for several weeks a renegotiation of the salary measures granted at the beginning of the year. ., equivalent to an average increase of 3.5%. Asking this year for a 10% increase in salaries -7% for inflation, 3% for wealth distribution-, the energy giant obtained 10.6 billion dollars in profits in the first half of 2022.

In the meantime, therefore, the mobilization continued at the Normandy refinery near Le Havre, the largest in France, the “bio-refinery” at La Mède (Bouches-du-Rhône) and the Flanders fuel depot near Dunkirk (North), while the Feyzin refinery (Rhône) is also paralyzed due to a technical accident.

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