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After a morning renewal, the refiners decide on the continuation of their movement

Will the strike go until the All Saints holidays? After three weeks of blockages, the morning strikers of the oil sites of TotalEnergies renewed their movement on Wednesday, but general assemblies will decide at midday on the continuation of the strike which always creates fuel shortages a few days before school holidays. In the country, 22.8% of service stations were still short of petrol or diesel on Tuesday evening, the Minister for Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher announced on France Info on Wednesday morning. “The improvement continues to be made”, she assured, referring to Hauts-de-France where the rupture rate fell from “55% to less than 20%”. A few days before the first departures, the pressure is mounting more than ever on the government. Addressing the French, the minister assured to put “everything to do so that they can go on vacation quietly”. Only three of the seven French refineries are not affected by the strike, but to speed up the pace, the government has reopened the valves of blocked sites with the help of requisitions from employees, the last one again targeting the TotalEnergies site in Feyzin in the Rhône on Wednesday. The measure aims to “relieve” the two regions Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, very affected, according to the minister. “Ten people can unblock the deposit”, she underlined. And others “should be requisitioned during the day”, according to a prefectural source, while a third of the stations were still in difficulty Tuesday evening in Rhône-Alpes-Auvergne. Tuesday evening, at the end of a day of strikes and demonstrations throughout the country, the CGT proposed the “renewal of the movement” of the refineries initiated on September 27 until Wednesday at midday, when new general meetings. As expected, the strikers voted on Wednesday morning to renew the Gonfreville refinery in Normandy, CGT Total Normandy secretary general Alexis Antonioli told AFP. The morning renewal also concerned the TotalEnergies refineries and depots at La Mède, Feyzin (the depot, the refinery being shut down for technical reasons) and Flandres (depot), confirmed Éric Sellini. – “Nothing is decided” – According to Olivier Mateu, CGT departmental secretary of Bouches-du-Rhône, “nothing is decided” for the future. “It is the employees who will decide,” insists Éric Sellini. Many elected members of the union must participate Wednesday morning by videoconference in a national meeting where each section must decide and a decision be taken concerning a call for a general strike, said Mr. Mateu. “Beyond the refiners and the 14,000 employees of TotalEnergies, we also carry the voice of those who suffer from the fact that wages do not keep up with inflation and who see winter coming with promises of higher fuel prices. ‘energy or food’, Mr Sellini argued. In total, 107,000 people also demonstrated Tuesday in France to demand better wages according to the Ministry of the Interior, “nearly 300,000” according to the CGT. During the previous day of the same type, the CGT had counted fewer participants (250,000), but the Interior more (118,500). In the rest of the energy sector, the CGT has signed a branch agreement with FO and the CFDT on increases in the gas and electricity industries (IEG), we learned on Tuesday from concordant sources. This constitutes a first step for the opening of wage negotiations in good and due form in the 157 companies concerned, including EDF and Engie. At TotalEnergies, which is part of the chemical sector within professional organizations, the CGT did not sign the salary agreement concluded on Friday between the management and the two majority unions, the CFE-CGC and the CFDT. The agreement provides for a general increase of 5% in wages, accompanied by individual increases and an exceptional bonus of between 3,000 and 6,000 euros. The CGT demanded 10% to offset inflation and take advantage of the exceptional income earned by the group in 2021. bur-im-nal-mac-dfa/ico/gvy

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