NEWS IN CONNECTION WITH THE SITUATION – Le Figaro takes stock of the fuel shortages that have plagued the country for more than two weeks. The situation is gradually improving in service stations, but the strike is expanding to other sectors, which poses a threat to the All Saints holidays.
25 days already. The CGT has been preventing access to the TotalEnergies and Esso refineries for more than three weeks, which has resulted in fuel supplies running short and increasing the number of people waiting in line at service stations. However, the relocation may take longer than expected. Even if, despite all, the situation in the resorts improved slightly on Thursday evening, the threat will still be present throughout the All Saints holidays, which start in ten days. Given that the issue of wages is at the core of the strikers' demands, the CGT has extended an invitation to workers in other sectors of activity, such as those employed by SNCF and RATP railways or those working in the public service sector, to take part in a “interprofessional day of strike and demonstration.” The 18th of October is a Tuesday.
The situation at petrol stations is becoming better and better all the time.
At five o'clock on Thursday, the percentage of gas stations experiencing difficulties dropped below 30 percent. According to the Ministry of Energy Transition, there is a shortage of at least one fuel in 29.1% of the stations across the national territory. This number is down from 30.8% of the stations yesterday at the same time. The Hauts-de-France region, which was notably affected at the beginning of the strike movement, is showing the most impressive reduction in terms of the number of strikers. As of five o'clock, 31.7% of service stations are experiencing difficulties, which is a significant decrease from yesterday's figure of approximately 43%. At 5 o'clock on Thursday, more over a third of service stations in Île-de-France were still out of at least one product, which was a decrease from the previous day's percentage of 41.9%.
Check also this related article on fuels: the situation at service stations is getting better and better.
Discussions around pay rates
On Friday, it appeared as though the TotalEnergies group, two majority unions, and the CGT had reached an agreement on a wage increase for the group as a whole. However, the CGT, which started the work stoppage that resulted in an extremely rare shortage of gasoline in France, refused any agreement and promised to continue the strike.
The management of the oil group, which was under pressure from the government and was experiencing the effects of a strike that had been going on for 18 days, had extended an invitation to the four representative unions to engage in urgent negotiations during the overnight hours between Thursday and Friday. The representatives of the two reformist unions, CFDT and CFE-CGC, did not leave the headquarters of TotalEnergies in La Défense until 3:30 in the morning to make the announcement that they were in favour of the management's most recent proposal, which included, according to them, a 7% salary increase and a bonus of between 3,000 and 6,000 euros.
According to Geoffrey Caillon, the coordinator of the CFDT, “The CFDT negotiation team delivers a good assessment on the initiatives that are now on the table.” According to Dominique Convert, who serves as the CFE-coordinator, CGC's the opinion is likewise quite favourable toward the organisation. Before Friday at noon, each union will now consult its members in order to make a decision regarding whether or not to sign the offer. “We presented an agreement for signature before midday,” Namita Shah, a member of the executive committee of TotalEnergies, acknowledged. However, she did not provide any additional evidence to support the figure of 7%, which is greater than the 6% that was proposed on Thursday.
The CGT had already departed the building, but not before having preventively attacked the agreement that had been reached between the two other unions, who held a combined 56% representativeness. Alexis Antonioli has predicted that “it will not change the state of mind and the determination of the strikers,” and he is currently looking for “the generalisation of the movement.”
Read also: Fuels: the government asks TotalEnergies to enhance wages, and the company has proposed a 6% rise in pay for its employees.
The CGT makes an effort to exacerbate the conflict.
As the bell for the end of the strike was rung Thursday at the Esso-ExxonMobil refinery in Fos-sur-Mer, in the Bouches-du-Rhône, the strike was resumed a few minutes later at the other Esso-ExxonMobil refinery, in Gravenchon-Port-Jérôme, near Le Havre. This occurred while the bell for the end of the strike was rung at the refinery in Fos-sur-M According to a statement made by a spokeswoman for Esso-ExxonMobil, “Discussions are currently underway between management and trade unions.” The TotalEnergies refineries will be blocked for the foreseeable future with the same level of determination.
Confronted with requisitions drawn up by the government to counter the strike in the oil industry, the CGT decided on Thursday, along with FO, Solidaires, and FSU, as well as youth movements, to organise a day of “mobilisation and strike” interprofessional meeting on Tuesday, October 18, despite the dissatisfaction of a portion of the public. This decision was made despite the fact that the strike in the oil industry had been going on for over a week.
Unions representing educators, railroad workers, nuclear workers, and civil servants have already declared their intention to take part in this campaign in advance of the statement that will be made by the power stations. Already calls have been made for the vocational high schools to participate in a movement against the change that affects them. A note from territorial intelligence that was revealed by The Parisian expresses concern about a “contagion” among personnel working in the automotive sector, port workers, and port agents.
The outcome of an appeal lodged against requisitions at Esso-ExxonMobil is anticipated to be announced on Friday morning.
On Friday morning at ten o'clock in the morning, the CGT's interim appeal that challenged the requisition of staff on the Esso-ExxonMobil facility in Port-Jérôme (Seine-Maritime) was discussed by the judges. According to what Me Emmanuel Gayat said to AFP, “The decision will relate to the new decree which was taken by the prefect” of the Seine-Maritime department early on Thursday morning. This language, which is the same as the previous decree that was made on Wednesday evening, also includes provisions for the requirement of two personnel for each shift.
Maitre Emmanuel Gayat cited “the absence of consultation on the criteria of a basic service” at the Port-Jérôme location, whose depot was the first to be targeted by employee requisitions on Wednesday. He made this argument while referring to the “indisputable” freedom of the right to strike.
Danger for the holidays commemorating all the saints
Will it be possible for the French to celebrate the holiday of All Saints? Despite the fact that there is just one week left until the start of the holidays on Friday, October 21, there does not appear to be any discernible change taking shape at service stations that are currently experiencing fuel shortages. And unease is starting to spread among drivers as a result of this development.