renewed strikes at TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil, CGT opens doors

renewed strikes at TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil, CGT opens doors

“To break the impasse, we repeat our request to start negotiations, hoping that you will finally hear it. We are ready to start them on Monday only based on our demand for wages,” wrote Eric Cellini, CGT coordinator at TotalEnergies, in this letter addressed to the group’s CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, and posted on Twitter.

On Saturday, three of six French refineries were still closed, according to the CGT: TotalEnergies’ biggest refinery in Normandy, as well as two French refineries of US-based Esso-ExxonMobil. “We are about 70% strikers,” said Christoph Ober, elected CGT at ExxonMobil, “It’s the same workforce every weekend, so it doesn’t have to move and nothing gets out.”

Also, at the TotalEnergies refinery in Fezine (Rhône), “at 6:00 a.m. there were 100% strikers in the control room,” said Pedro Afonso, elected by the CGT. “Usually there are 250 to 300 trucks and 30 to 50 wagons per day. Nothing will come out.”

In the French energy company, in addition to the Normandy refinery, strikers have been mobilized en masse in recent days at a fuel depot in Flanders, near Dunkirk (North), at the “bio-refinery” of La Med (Bouches du Rhône). ) and at the Grandpuis fuel storage (Seine-et-Marne), in particular, to limit the outflow of petroleum products as much as possible, according to CGT.

“The strike is not justified”

On the other hand, from the CFDT’s side, the strike at the French oil refineries is not justified at the moment, Laurent Berger, the general secretary of the union, said on Saturday, considering it necessary to hold negotiations first.

“CFDT, it’s (not) so much for pre-emptive strikes,” Berger told France Inter. “Total and Exxon employees, they are right (to) demand higher wages,” he admitted, however. But he criticized the CGT’s decision to engage “only the balance of power without going to the end of the logic of negotiating and recording a compromise in an agreement”.

At ExxonMobil, the discussions have already led to “a certain amount of progress,” said Berger in particular, whose position has traditionally been more favorable to negotiations than that of the CGT.

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