Almost a third of France’s petrol stations faced fuel shortages on Sunday as part of an ongoing strike in the country’s energy sector.
The strikes off TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil workers – primarily for salary issues – has disturbed the most important ones storage facilities and refinerieswhich affects approx 60% of French production.
The French energy minister has tried to calm things down, but motorists are frustrated at having had to for hours in line at some gas stations at the weekend.
Unions say they are ready to start negotiations next week
” The government is doing everything to get the situation back to normal as soon as possible.“, said the energy minister on Saturday Agnes Pannier-Runacher in a press release. ” A solution to this conflict must be found as soon as possible.“, she added.
On Sunday, the French energy giant came Total has offered to bring forward the annual salary negotiations in response to demands from trade unions for wage increases reflect runaway inflation and energy company profits.
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” Subject to the end of the blockades and the consent of all union representatives, the company proposes to advance the start of the mandatory annual wage negotiations to October“, she said in a statement.
” I have a hard time understanding why we get into such situations?”
The profit from TotalEnergies between April and June this year has more than doubled to 5.85 billion euroswith the war in Ukraine driving up global wholesale energy prices.
Terry Caboste, a steel worker, was one of those parked at a gas station near Paris. ” I woke up at 04:00 to get gas and now it will be about 4 hours to wait to see if there is gas at 8.” , he said.
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Gilles Albou, a pensioner waiting in the same line, described his frustration at the situation: ” I don’t understand, I don’t understand. I have a hard time understanding why we get into such situations?”
” We are ready to start negotiations on Monday based on our wage demands alone.”
The French Minister of Transport, Clement Beaunesaid there was none no supply problem in France Saturday.
He said that scarcity is a ” localized phenomenon, linked to social movements“while encouraging businesses and unions to trade with” responsibility“.
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The Syndicate The CGT represents workers said he was ready to start negotiations after the weekend. ” We are ready to start negotiations on Monday based on our wage demands alone.“Wrote Eric Sellini, CGT coordinator at TotalEnergies.
The union demanded one 10% salary increase in 2022including 7% to keep pace with inflation and 3% for wealth distribution.
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