Fuel torture for France may be over soon


Two trade unions in France have reached a preliminary agreement with oil and gas group TotalEnergies on a wage increase. This happened after an emergency consultation in which the oil giant was keen to reach an agreement.

Due to the strikes, which have been going on for three weeks, a large part of the gas stations in the country are without fuel. This is also due to actions at ExxonMobil refineries in the country.

The left-wing trade union CGT, which took the initiative for the strikes, did not come to a comparison with TotalEnergies. The union left the negotiations and indicated that it would continue to strike. Under pressure from the government to resolve the eighteen-day crisis, the oil company met with four unions at its headquarters. After nearly six hours of talking, representatives from CFDT and CFE-CGC said they agreed with the proposed 7 percent pay increase and a bonus. The unions have until Friday afternoon to consult with their members and decide whether to sign the offer.

The strike, which started on 27 September, affects TotalEnergies ‘ refineries and fuel depots. As a result of the actions, there are fuel shortages nationwide. CGT called the negotiations a “hoax” and said TotalEnergies ‘proposals were ” largely inadequate.”

The French railway workers and civil servants, represented by the CGT, agreed to a national strike day next Tuesday. The dissatisfaction with rising inflation may therefore result in a series of actions. The CGT, which is listed as a militant, said it was not only insisting on higher wages for railway workers. The union also says it wants to express its anger at the government’s intervention, which is using an emergency law to get people to work.

Left-wing political parties are using the strikes to launch a protest movement against president Emmanuel Macron and the rising cost of living. Not all unions have joined the call for a general strike next Tuesday. CFDT, the country’s largest trade union, is keeping aloof.

By: Nicholas de Kramer

Nicholas de Krammer, а self-taught economic analytic with heave mathematical background. Math behind the economics (and economics behind math) is the strong side of the author. Contact him at nicholas.dekramer@economicinform.com

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