Tensions over fuels: the government calls on oil companies and unions for “responsibility”

The dry breakdown, until when? The government hopes for the fastest possible restoration of the distribution of gasoline so as not to “penalize the French”. After an intervention in Bordeaux, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne called on Friday for “responsibility” of the management of oil groups, in particular TotalEnergies, and staff representatives so that “salary negotiations succeed”. Strikes have been causing serious supply problems for several days, particularly in Hauts-de-France.

Earlier in the morning, the Minister Delegate for Small and Medium Enterprises, Olivia Grégoire, had in turn asked the oil companies for “efforts” on wages, in order to resolve the strikes. “I call on the companies concerned, which, for the most part, still have good results, to also consider requests for a salary increase,” she said on Franceinfo. “We expect companies (…) to make efforts towards employees. »

15% of service stations in difficulty

Tanker trucks will be exceptionally authorized to circulate on Sunday due to “fairly localized but significant difficulties”, also announced on LCI the Minister Delegate for Transport, Clément Beaune, who brought together the transporters’ federations on Friday morning “to see locally where supply can be improved”.

“We are doing everything so that in the coming days this situation can be resolved” and the government is “in connection with Total to try to facilitate social dialogue”, he specified. And to add that France could “more” release strategic stocks to calm the situation.

“No sharing of wealth”

Currently, 15% of service stations are affected by a lack of one or more fuels, according to a figure quoted by several ministers. “We are not there to annoy people, we are there to show Total the dissatisfaction of employees because there is no sharing of wealth”, explained on RMC Thierry Defresne, CGT secretary of the committee of European company of TotalEnergies, referring to the group’s announcement of the payment of an additional exceptional dividend of 2.6 billion euros to its shareholders.

“We give a lot to the shareholders, but we completely forget the employees,” he accused. “There are fabulous profits and we don’t want to compensate for inflation. For its part, TotalEnergies did not report on the impact of the social conflict on its stations, contenting itself with saying Thursday that the situation was “stable”.

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