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Fuel shortages: strike action to end at refinery in southern France

However action at five other refineries and depots across the country continues

The strike at the Fos-sur-Mer refinery in southern France has been called off, while others continue Pic: Gilles Paire / Shutterstock

[Update: October 13 at 16:15 - TotalEnergies has now invited unions to negotiate on salaries from 20:00. Until now the company had said it would only start negotiating when the strikes were lifted.]

A strike over pay at the Esso-ExxonMobil refinery in Fos-sur-Mer (Bouches-du-Rhône) has come to an end this afternoon (October 13) - but similar action in five other refineries and depots across the country continues. 

It comes as the CGT union is calling for a railway strike planned for October 18 to become a national, interprofessional day of action in protest against a government réquisition: an order requiring some staff at the Esso-ExxonMobil site in Port-Jérôme (Seine-Maritime) to return to work. 

An administrative court in Rouen is examining a claim by the CGT that the réquisition goes against workers' right to strike this afternoon. 

Read more: French fuel shortages: Union calls for wider national strike next week

Two workers were obliged to return to the Normandy site yesterday (October 12) and two today, according to the energy transition ministry.

Today, it was also announced that the government would initiate a further réquisition in a TotalEnergies depot near Dunkirk, with some workers required to return at 14:00.

Some 30.8% of French petrol stations are experiencing supply shortages, the strike having lasted since September 27. Stations in Hauts-de-France and Ile-de-France are generally more severely affected.

The CGT has also announced the renewal of all of the four TotalEnergies refinery strikes this afternoon, with the union’s TotalEnergies Europe secretary Thierry Defresne saying that there are “still very high numbers of strikers”. 

He called on the company bosses to open negotiations “today”, and warned that if not, “it will be very tough tomorrow at [the] Flandres” depot near Dunkirk, where the government is requiring some employees to go back to work.

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