Strikes at TotalEnergies and Exxon Mobil: fuel remains scarce in France

Status: 10/10/2022 6:48 PM

Motorists in France must continue to adapt to fuel bottlenecks. Due to the strikes at TotalEnergies and Exxon Mobil, a third of all petrol stations cannot offer petrol or diesel.

By Julia Borutta, ARD Studio Paris

The queues are getting longer, many tanks remain empty, but the WhatsApp groups are full. Which gas station still has petrol or diesel? Where can you get which fuel and at what price?

Motorists in France need strong nerves and a lot of patience – but even then success is not guaranteed: “I went on the A13 at midnight, but there was nothing there either,” says one motorist. Another: “I’m already thinking about buying a bike.” Others take it more or less with humor: “I’ve been to at least three gas stations to find diesel – I have nothing else to do on Monday morning.”

Rows of cars block roads

The situation in northern France and the Paris area is particularly dramatic. Up to 55 percent of all gas stations are affected. In the west of Paris, the police had to direct traffic in some places this weekend. Because the lines at the gas pumps blocked entire streets.

In some towns in northern France, even ambulance companies couldn’t get gas.

Strike in refineries and tank farms

The reason is a strike in the refineries and tank farms of TotalEnergies and Exxon Mobil. Given the staggering profits of the oil companies, the employees are demanding, among other things, a salary increase of 10 percent for the current year.

The situation at TotalEnergies is particularly stalled. The group is prepared to bring the planned salary negotiations forward from November to October. However, only on the condition that the strikers return to work immediately. The trade union CGT, which is leading the strike, rejects this.

Businesses and commuters are stuck

Meanwhile, many companies and commuters are stuck. Fabrice Godefroy, head of the motorists’ association “40 million motorists”, warned: “I am also an entrepreneur, we already have problems with our deliveries. That is tragic. We really need to find solutions. Bad in the coming days.”

The CPME, which represents small and medium-sized enterprises, even demands that the prefects exercise their right and confiscate fuel if necessary.

President Emmanuel Macron rejects such government measures. While understanding the strikers’ demands, he also warned: “The government has stepped up the pressure on those involved so that the negotiations can quickly reach a goal. But everyone – the bosses and the unions – must take responsibility for themselves. is not a negotiation.”

Tips about open gas stations

But the situation seems to have stalled. The strike continues tomorrow, some gas station workers have joined the strikers in the refineries. Meanwhile, tips are circulating to get reliable information about open gas stations. The government, the TotalEnergies group and some online newspapers have released interactive maps. And with fuel apps like Gasoil Now, Essence & Co or Fuelflash, the number of users is increasing rapidly.

Attention holidaymakers! In France many gas stations without fuel

Julia Borutta, ARD Paris, 10/10/2022 6:15 PM

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