TotalEnergies and Esso-ExxonMobil say they are ready to negotiate with the unions. Elisabeth Borne promises that the situation will improve thanks to deliveries from strategic stocks.
Soon the way out in the social conflict that is blocking refineries and leading to fuel shortages at service stations? TotalEnergies, of which three French refineries have been closed, made a gesture towards the attackers on Sunday. “The company proposes to bring the mandatory annual negotiation which was scheduled for November to October “, explains the group in a press release. One condition: stop blocking sites early. The CGT, which pulls the strings of this strike, had dropped the ballast on Saturday. Forget the claims on hiring and investments in France. The union is determined to only talk about pay during the negotiations. “We are ready to start them on Monday only on the basis of our salary request. “, explains, on Twitter, Éric Sellini, CGT coordinator of TotalEnergies. For his part, the management of Esso-ExxonMobil in France announced in a press release Sunday evening its intention to meet on Monday “The four trade unions representing the staff”.
It was time: with this over ten-day strike affecting five out of eight refineries in France (TotalEnergies and Esso sites), deliveries of super and diesel are arriving in droplets at the pumps. Additionally, TotalEnergies outlets offering 30% discounts are being stormed. As a result, on Sunday, 29.7% of service stations in France experienced supply difficulties. The situation is very worrying in two regions: Hauts-de-France, where 54.8% of the stations are sold out, and Île-de-France, where 44.9% are in the same situation.
If Total is now less inflexible it is because it has listened to the calls for conciliation from the executive: the Elysée is aware that in France the fuel shortage can escalate rapidly. On Friday, Emmanuel Macron urged all parties to be accountable. On Sunday, Ecological Transition Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher maintained the pressure: “I would like to reiterate the government’s firm appeal to Total and Esso managers and trade unions. A solution must be found without delay in the context of the social dialogue, which must take place within companies. “ While the content of the super-profits tax has not been decided, the French group has no interest in alienating public authorities.
Already well paid operators
For its part, the CGT knows that its troops may tire after an already long conflict, where it is not supported by all the unions. “The CFDT is not so much for preemptive strikes”, believes his boss, Laurent Berger. But if the negotiations do take place, they will be tough because the two sides are not on the same line: the CGT is asking for a 10% salary increase. TotalEnergies handles ambiguity. He has “ the desire that all employees have priority in sharing value and receive the right compensation for their paycheck effort by the end of the year “. But remember that refinery operators do not have to complain with an average salary of € 5,000 per month including profit sharing and participation. Without waiting for an agreement to be reached, the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, promises that stocks at the pump will decrease this week thanks to the “deliveries” from “Strategic actions” French.
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