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End in sight for driver fuel shortages in Paris and surrounding areas

Supplies have been running low due to strike action

It only took a few days of strike action for the first petrol stations to almost run dry Pic: Olrat/Shutterstock

The end is in sight for the fuel shortages experienced at service stations in Paris and surrounding areas, as the strike action at two supply depots has been successful.

Some 80 stations had been hit by supply difficulties earlier this week, due to strikes protesting against the decision by TotalEnergies to install onboard surveillance systems in transport trucks. 

Employees of the fuel transport companies, which are subcontractors of Total, started the walkout at the beginning of the week.

However on Wednesday, faced with the backlash, TotalEnergies sent a letter to the transport branch of the CGT trade union and subcontracting transport companies to announce the suspension of their plan.

The CGT turned to Facebook to announce the news and called it “a great victory”.

Read more: More than a million extra people to get France’s next fuel cheque 

Cause of the strike

TotalEnergies’ proposal involved the installation of an on-board sensor in the driver’s cab that is triggered in the event of an anomaly, including signs of fatigue. The system is also capable of giving audio instructions.

The project was contested by CGT transport union, which objected to what it regarded as an invasion of the privacy of truck drivers. 

It only took a few days of strike action for the first petrol stations to almost run dry. 

22% of service stations were suffering shortages in Val-de-Marne, 21% in the neighbouring department of Seine-Saint-Denis and 20% in Hauts-de-Seine, according to data available on the government website, updated on Wednesday morning (December 6).

Read more: French unions threaten Christmas and New Year rail strike

Taken to social media 

Drivers had taken to social media to complain about the shortages, as well as asking for advice on where they could find fuel. 

Meanwhile service stations, such as E. Leclerc in Bois d’Arcy issued apologies to clients via social media.

 "Following a social movement, Total carriers are blocking some depots in Yvelines, including ours. Our station is therefore not able to provide you with fuel. We are sorry for the inconvenience and will be sure to keep you informed as the situation evolves."

Read also

Strike call for December 5 over risk of Casino shop closures in France

TotalEnergies confirm car fuel price cap for whole of 2024 in France

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