Late Wednesday evening, strikers at TotalEnergies firmly declined a management proposal to release dawn deliveries as a precondition for opening in the wake of wage negotiations.

“It is a massive categorical refusal, they (the employees) do not want this requirement to negotiate”, declared to AFP Thierry Defresne, CGT secretary of the TotalEnergies Europe committee at the end of a night meeting at the headquarters of the group at La Defense.

“We lost too much time, now we are negotiating without conditions”, he continued, considering that the “requirements” of TotalEnergies, namely “release of product (fuel)” was synonymous with “soft requisition”.

TotalEnergies for its part confirmed to AFP “the negative outcome of the discussions of the night”.

The dialogue, however, seemed to have been renewed earlier in the day when the management had agreed for the first time to receive the CGT.

Until then, it required as a prerequisite the lifting of blockages to see the second union of the group.

– Back to normal? –

The conflict entered a new phase on Wednesday with the execution of the threat of requisitions by the government, which currently affect four employees of the fuel depot of the ExxonMobil Port-Jérôme/Notre-Dame-de- Gravenchon (Seine-Maritime), ordered to reopen the floodgates.

“Scandalous decision”, protested Philippe Martinez, leader of the CGT, who came in support of ExxonMobil employees, and who announced the filing of an interim order Thursday to oppose it.

“The pumping was able to start and the fuel was injected into the pipeline intended to supply Ile-de-France”, specified in the evening the prefecture of Seine Maritime.

How to improve the situation? President Emmanuel Macron has planned a return to normal in the distribution of fuels “during the coming week”, during an interview on France 2 on Wednesday evening.

For the time being, the shortages continue, putting the nerves of motorists on edge.

Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., 30.8% of service stations lacked one or more fuels (31.3% Tuesday), according to the Ministry of Energy Transition.

A worse proportion in Hauts-de-France, Ile-de-France and Center-Val-de-Loire.

– Concerned employers –

Employers for their part were worried this week about the consequences of this strike on the economic life of the country.

Motorists everywhere tell of their “galley” and the monster queues at the pump: “This morning (Wednesday), I lost 1:30 to find a diesel pump (…) on my day off”, is in despair Albertine Morais , nurse in Clichy-la-Garenne. And it will be necessary “to start again within two days”: “I am already in panic”.

Six of the seven refineries in France were on strike on Wednesday: the four from TotalEnergies and the two from Esso-ExxonMobil. Only that of Lavéra (Petroineos group) is not blocked.

Added to this are the TotalEnergies depots in La Mède (Bouches-du-Rhône) and Flandres, which supplies Hauts-de-France, both shut down.

At Esso, an agreement was signed with two majority unions including the CFDT, but not with the CGT. The strike continued at its two refineries.

FO, the fourth union among refining employees at TotalEnergies, has also joined the strike.

At TotalEnergies, the strike has been going on since September 27. It concerns the Normandy refinery (Gravenchon), near Le Havre, the Flandres depot, near Dunkirk, the La Mède “bio-refinery” (Bouches-du-Rhône), the Feyzin refinery (Rhône) and that of Donges.

The cause of the conflict: wages. The CGT, which launched the strike on September 27 at TotalEnergies, is demanding a 10% increase for 2022, against the 3.5% obtained at the start of the year, in order to offset inflation and take advantage of the group’s exceptional profits. .