Through the voice of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, the executive again urged the actors in the conflict “to sit around the table”, during an interview on RTL radio.

Referring to the measures taken to improve the supply of service stations, the Prime Minister assured, like the government for several days, that the situation should “improve during the week”.

But the improvement is struggling to materialize: according to a last situation update released by the Ministry of Energy Transition at 3 p.m. Sunday, nearly a third (29.7%) of service stations in France lacked at least one fuel (against 21% on Saturday).

TotalEnergies offered on Sunday to advance wage negotiations scheduled for November to October (no specific date), provided that the refineries and depots currently blocked resume work. A “blackmail”, replied the union Monday, pending a position with the strikers at midday.

The situation in the largest French oil group, which controls a third of the country’s service stations, contrasts with that of Esso-ExxonMobil, whose two refineries are shut down but where a meeting must take place with the unions as soon as Monday.

“TotalEnergies is trying to impose a suspension of the strike before any negotiation meeting and therefore before any proposal for a salary increase. This attempt is perceived as blackmail by the CGT and in no way guarantees the satisfaction of the demands expressed and therefore the resumption labor,” the union said in a statement sent to AFP.

“The Coordination of CGT Syndicates of TotalEnergies reaffirms its desire to negotiate as quickly as possible, without being blackmailed. For this, it calls for an immediate meeting on the question of wages and the establishment of a timetable to respond to the demands on employment and investments”, indicated the coordination, which therefore seemed to be moving towards a renewal of the blockages, subject to the vote of the employees.

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

“We want those who bother the French to stop as soon as possible, so we want to sit down at the negotiating table, we can do so in a serene atmosphere, and not under a system of blocking supplies from the French” , he continued.

– 10% increase demanded –

What cause some concern to the top of the state: this discontent comes indeed a few days before a march “against the high cost of living”, to which the opposition forces of Nupes are calling next Sunday.

“I always find it rather curious to go on a preventive strike even though a discussion has been announced,” Public Accounts Minister Gabriel Attal told France Inter on Monday.

The group’s management wants the negotiations to focus on wages for 2023. But given the high inflation, it is 2022 that the CGT wants to talk about, which has been calling for several weeks for a renegotiation of the wage measures granted at the start of the year. , equivalent to an average increase of 3.5%.

She asks for this year 10% increase on wages – 7% for inflation, 3% for the sharing of wealth – the energy giant having earned 10.6 billion dollars in profit in the first half of 2022 .

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

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 at a standstill, the strikers having decided on Monday to renew the movement, explained the CGT.