Strike at TotalEnergies: shutdown of the largest refinery in France, in Normandy

This is the consequence of a strike for purchasing power at the call of the CGT. The hydrocarbon giant TotalEnergies was forced to start shutting down the Normandy refinery near Le Havre, the largest in France, on Wednesday, we learned from concordant sources.

This shutdown “for security reasons” is “not yet effective because it requires several days”, indicated TotalEnergies.

According to the oil group, it does not jeopardize the supply of service stations in the short term, even if it represents some 22% of refining capacity in France, according to data from Ufip (oil groups).

“Ten days without refining and petrochemical production”

The group indicated that it had made imports and had stocks “that could last between 20 days and a month”, in addition to the strategic stocks held by France. France usually imports about 50% of its diesel needs but exports gasoline.

“The discontent is so strong in Normandy that the strikers demanded this morning the shutdown procedures for the largest refinery in France,” said Thierry Defresne, CGT secretary of the European works council TotalEnergies SE.

“We are taking the long term: a refinery, to shut it down, it takes five days, to restart it it takes about the same thing, so we start at least ten days without refining and petrochemical production, we will go well beyond the day of September 29, ”said Thierry Defresne.

This strike by the French refineries of TotalEnergies, which began on Tuesday, must last at least until Thursday, a day of national action in all economic sectors, at the call of the CGT and Solidaires.

For a salary increase of 10%

In the event of an actual shutdown of the Normandy refinery, there would only be two refineries in operation out of the six still in France, the others also being affected by strikes, or stopped for works or maintenance, according to the CGT.

The TotalEnergies refinery in Donges (Loire-Atlantique) and that of PetroIneos in Lavera (Bouches-du-Rhône) would therefore be the only ones to operate, according to the CGT.

On Tuesday, the strikers agreed to take their jobs on the condition that no product be delivered. The management was forced to accept the strikers’ request to stop, so that they come to relieve the teams inside “and continue to run the machines and ensure safety and the protection of the environment”, a specified Thierry Defresne.

The CGT is calling for a salary increase of 10% for the year 2022, the “unfreezing of hiring” in France and “a massive investment plan” in France, demands already at the origin of movements on 24 June and July 28th.

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