“My 91-year-old father couldn’t see himself queuing for an hour,” Virginie told AFP at a gas station in the Fives district of Lille, filling up with diesel for her parents. While a line of cars has overflowed onto the street in recent days, “there it seems to calm down,” she adds.
In Lyon, Serge Almodovar, 56, is disappointed: the station which was indicated as “open” on a site is in fact closed: “It’s a bit embarrassing, especially since I have very little gas left in my my tank. I take it philosophically. Luckily we’re not working today. I live in Lyon and I work in Valence partly, all week I took the train. I really hope that there will be no strike which will also become widespread on the trains”, he underlines.
“I think you have several tens of millions of French people who at one time or another have been faced with these difficulties, either of a closed station or of a station in front of which you have to queue for two or three hours”, lamented Sunday morning the Minister of Public Accounts, Gabriel Attal, during the “big meeting” Europe1 / CNews / Les Echos.
He judged “unacceptable that there is the continuation of blockages even though majority agreements have been found to raise salaries”, also considering that it would take “several days before the situation improves sufficiently for the French feel it in their daily lives” following the requisitions of striking personnel.
– The CGT continues to demand a 10% increase –
An agreement on wage increases was reached overnight from Thursday to Friday with two majority unions, the CFDT and the CFE-CGC.
The agreement provides for an overall “envelope” of a 7% salary increase, including a 5% general increase plus an individual share which may differ depending on the person. It also provides for a bonus of one month’s salary, with a floor of 3,000 euros and a ceiling of 6,000 euros.
The CGT continues to claim 10% corresponding to “inflation plus sharing” of the profits made by the oil company, namely 5.7 billion dollars for the second quarter alone (5.8 billion euros). The union intends to continue the movement until Tuesday, a day of interprofessional “mobilization and strike” to which FO, Solidaires and the FSU have also called.
Currently, the strikes concern three refineries (out of seven) and five large depots (out of approximately 200) and are more or less followed depending on the sites, indicates the government. These are the TotalEnergies sites in Normandy (refinery and depot), Donges (refinery and depot), La Mède (biorefinery and depot), Flandres (depot) and Feyzin (depot; the refinery being shut down for technical reasons) .
– Slight improvement at the pump –
In total, 27.3% of the country’s service stations were considered Saturday “in difficulty”, that is to say affected by the rupture of at least one of their products, according to the government, a slight improvement by compared to the day before (28.5%). In the Ile-de-France region, this rate was much higher: 39.9% and up by almost three percentage points.
In Seine-et-Marne, where 84 out of 177 stations report having difficulty with at least one fuel, the prefecture reports a “trend for improvement compared to the start of the week” and has taken “special measures to supply for farmers who are in the harvest period, in particular beets but also (to) allow barley to be sown”.
Faced with this “exceptional situation”, the government has issued two decrees extending until November 15 the use of diesel and SP95-E10 premium fuel of “summer quality”, instead of “winter quality” which is generally applicable to from 1 November at service stations. Objective: “To be able to use fuel stocks more easily, which would have been unsold due to the strikes”, the Ministry of Energy Transition told AFP.
At the same time, Sunday must take place a march against “expensive living and climate inaction”, at the call of the Nupes. Some 30,000 demonstrators are expected.