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Fuel shortages update: Strikes to continue at five French refineries

Staff and unions are continuing to push for higher wages despite successful talks between some groups last week

Petrol stations around France are facing fuel shortages, caused by strikes at refineries Pic: RVillalon / Shutterstock

The strike at TotalEnergies' five oil refineries in France has been extended into next week, meaning that fuel shortages are likely to continue. 

The strike had already been extended until Tuesday and Wednesday at two of the refineries, in Normandy and Loire-Atlantique, and has now been extended at the three other sites, labour union the CGT has announced. 

It comes despite the fact that two other labour unions representing over half of the striking workers, the CFDT and the CFE-CGC, reached an agreement over salary rises with TotalEnergies’ management overnight on Thursday.

However, the deal for a 7% increase and bonuses, was dismissed as insufficient by the CGT.

Read more: French fuel shortages: Progress made to end strikes but no deal yet

Strikes at two other refineries owned by Esso-ExxonMobil have now come to an end following an agreement with management on Tuesday. 

The company has said that it will take two to three weeks for the situation to get back to normal after the stoppages. 

The strikes have led to fuel shortages, which continue to affect just under 30% of petrol stations around the country.

Read more:  French fuel shortage: How to check stocks at your local petrol station

President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that shortages at the stations could be resolved “over the course of the coming week”. 

Read more: Around a week for French fuel shortages to end, Macron estimates

The discontent sewn by the strikes - and the government’s forcing of some workers to return to work to maintain a minimum service - has led to calls for an interprofessional strike to take place on Tuesday next week (October 18).

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

Read more: Which sectors are expected to join strike in France next Tuesday?

This could involve civil servants, SNCF workers and RATP staff, meaning that transport is likely to be heavily impacted. 

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