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TotalEnergies refinery strikes to go ahead on Friday, CGT union official says

TotalEnergies refinery strikes to go ahead on Friday, CGT union official says
By Reuters
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By Rowena Edwards

-A 24-hour strike at some of TotalEnergies’ oil refineries in France is set to go ahead on Friday, a CGT union official said, after talks with CEO Patrick Pouyanne fell through on Wednesday.

The CGT plans to halt deliveries by truck, train and pipeline, with only minimum flow for production units at three of TotalEnergies’ refineries and two depots.

The refineries set to be affected are the 240,000 barrel per day (bpd) Gonfreville refinery, the 119,000 bpd Feyzin refinery and La Mede biorefinery.

Fuel storage depots at La Mede and Flanders may also be impacted.

"No petroleum products should leave these sites," CGT official Thierry Defresne told Reuters, adding that this was CGT's expectation but the decision would be made by workers on strike on Friday.

The lubricants business at a plant in Rouen and several Argedis service stations could also be disrupted, according to Defresne.

The union is calling for an immediate increase in wages to compensate for rising inflation while TotalEnergies’ earnings surge on soaring oil and gas prices.

Three trade unions demanding a salary increase met a TotalEnergies committee on Wednesday, but Pouyanne's response to demands was insufficient to avert strike action, Defresne said.

If an immediate wage increase is not met, this will be “only the beginning of a process that will lead to blocking activity”, Eric Selleni, CGT coordinator for TotalEnergies Group, wrote in a letter to Pouyanne dated June 20.

"It is likely that a second day of strike action will be proposed this summer," Defresne said.

Further action will be decided by the workers but could take place after TotalEnergies' second quarter results on July 28 or in September with calls for walkouts that can be extended over several days, Defresne added.

TotalEnergies declined to comment.

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