The strikes in the TotalEnergies refineries and in the tank farm in France continue

The strikes in the TotalEnergies refineries and in the tank farm in France continue


French refinery and tank farm workers at five oil giant TotalEnergies sites vowed to continue their strike on Saturday, adding to concerns over petrol supplies ahead of wider protests early next week.

Four of France’s seven refineries and one tank farm were out of action after strikers turned down a salary offer from the hydrocarbon industry leader.

However, operations had resumed earlier in the week at two other Esso-ExxonMobil-operated refineries after workers reached an agreement with management.

The lockdowns have caused queues at gas stations and concerns across all sectors of the economy, from mobile health workers to farmers.

President Emmanuel Macron’s government this week forced some strikers back to work to open fuel depots, a move that enraged unions but was upheld by courts.

The hard-left trade union CGT, which started the industrial action three weeks ago, announced on Saturday that workers at three TotalEnergies locations had decided to extend their strike.

“The promotion has been expanded to three locations,” said Eric Sellini, the company’s CGT coordinator.

Employees at the other two, including France’s largest refinery near the northwestern city of Le Havre, had already decided to extend their action.

Left-wing Macron opponents have called for demonstrations against inflation on Sunday.

The CGT has called a strike for Tuesday that could disrupt public transit across the country.

The union risks stoking resentment in a country where three-quarters of workers rely on private vehicles for their jobs, with public support for the strike standing at just 37 percent, according to a BVA poll released on Friday.

The CGT is pushing for a 10 percent pay rise for TotalEnergies employees, retroactive to all of 2022.

It says the French group can more than afford it, citing TotalEnergies’ net income of $5.7 billion in the April-June period as energy prices skyrocketed from the war in Ukraine, and the payout billions of euros in dividends to shareholders.

It broke off talks with the French group Thursday night, despite other unions representing the majority of workers accepting an agreement on a lower wage increase.

TotalEnergies on Saturday urged its workers to return to work “in the light of signing a majority agreement on salaries” with two other unions.

Esso-ExxonMobil has said it would take two to three weeks to restart production at its refineries.

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