“The situation should continue to improve, since we have taken authorizations so that tanker trucks can circulate this weekend” and “we have released strategic stock”, declared Christophe Béchu, Minister of Transition. ecological questioned Saturday on Franceinfo.
He dismissed for the moment the prospect of restrictions at the pump: “we are not there, apart from the bans on filling jerrycans or cans, especially in the north of France where we have the most difficult situation. tense”.
On Friday, the Minister for Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher announced “difficulties” in 42% of the stations in Pas-de-Calais and 43% in the North, down slightly from the previous day. At the national level, 19% of service stations experienced shortages on at least one fuel Friday at midday, according to the ministry which ensures that France “has 90 days of consumption” in strategic stocks.
At the pump, the queues of motorists become a daily spectacle. “There I woke up at 4 a.m. to be able to look for gasoline, I’ve been waiting for 4 hours,” testified Terry Caboste, a metallurgy employee met on Saturday at a Paris station which limited fillings to 30 euros per customer.
Porte de Vincennes in Paris, a traffic jam of cars formed on 500 meters, in a concert of horns, near an Avia station where all the fuels were at more than 2 euros per liter, noted a journalist from the AFP.
From Prague, President Emmanuel Macron on Friday called on motorists to “calm” and oil groups and unions to “responsibility”.
“I call on the companies concerned, which, for the most part, still have good results, to also consider requests for salary increases”, had previously declared Olivia Grégoire, Minister Delegate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, without quoting by name. TotalEnergies and its 10.6 billion dollars of profit in the first half.
– Wage increase –
TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanné has not spoken publicly about the strike, but in an internal group video on Tuesday he acknowledged that “the company’s results are exceptional in 2022” and said “we will not forget you”. .
While the CGT is demanding a 10% increase in 2022 – 7% for inflation, 3% for “wealth sharing” -, management recalls that it has granted salary measures representing an average increase of 3, 5% in 2022 and refers to a negotiating session scheduled for November 15 for 2023 wages. She seems inflexible on this timetable.
On Saturday, three of the six French refineries were still shut down, according to the CGT: the largest refinery of TotalEnergies, in Normandy, and the two French refineries of the American Esso-ExxonMobil, where the movement was renewed on Saturday.
“We are around 70% strikers,” said Christophe Aubert, elected CGT at ExxonMobil, “these are the same workforce all weekend, so it should not move and, there, nothing comes out”.
In addition, at the TotalEnergies refinery in Feyzin (Rhône), “there were 100% strikers in the dispatch service at 6 a.m.”, declared Pedro Afonso, elected CGT. “Usually, there are 250 to 300 trucks a day and between 30 and 50 wagons – there is nothing that will come out,” he added, even if the refinery continues to produce.
At TotalEnergies, in addition to the Normandy refinery, strikers have been massively mobilized in recent days at the Flanders fuel depot, near Dunkirk (North), at the “bio-refinery” in La Mède (Bouches-du-Rhône) and at the Grandpuits fuel depot (Seine-et-Marne) in particular, to limit the outflow of petroleum products as much as possible, according to the CGT.
However, the Grandpuits fuel depot is not in operation on weekends, according to TotalEnergies. The Donges refinery (Loire-Atlantique) suspended its strike.
Blockades by strikers lead to lower fuel deliveries, so petrol stations are more often out of stocks of petrol or diesel. TotalEnergies manages almost a third of French stations.
But the group also puts the disturbances on the account of the success of the discount at the pump of 20 cents which it grants since September 1, in addition to the rebate of the State of 30 cents.