Industrial conflict in French oil refineries has left many gasoline stations without fuel forcing the government to requisition with a court order, essential workers to staff oil depots of companies in conflict.
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Tuesday that the government would start the callback process for ExxonMobil’s staff at its oil depots in the country after talks between the oil company and two unions, CGT and FO, stalled. The CFDT union, however, managed on Monday to reach an agreement with Exxon.
“Today some unions, despite the deal, want to continue the strike action and blockades, we cannot accept that,” Borne said, according to Argus media. Energy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said that the government was “doing its utmost to restore the situation to normal as soon as possible.”
The CGT and FO unions declared strikes weeks ago at Total’s 246,900 bpd Gonfreville and 109,300 bpd Feyzin refineries, along with the Carling petrochemicals plant. FO later added ExxonMobil’s 219,000 bpd Donges refinery. The FO union had workers striking at Exxon’s 235,000 bpd Fos-Sur-Mer refinery, as well as its 270,000 bpd Port Jerome refinery, but FO called off its strike action on Monday, Argus said.
The additional striking action comes just as France prepares to order some essential workers back to the workplace.
More than half of the country’s refinery capacity has been offline as many of the country’s gas stations suffer widespread gasoline and diesel outages. On Monday, the CGT trade union rejected an offer from TotalEnergies, which had expressed willingness to bring forward negotiations if the union called off the strike.
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