French Gas Rationing Begins As Refinery Strikes Worsen After Government Calls Back Essential Workers

France said on Tuesday that it would “requisition” (i.e. force) essential workers to staff Exxon’s French oil depot, and threatened to do the same for Total’s French refineries if talks failed to progress. But workers at Total’s Donges refinery decided on Tuesday to strike beginning on Wednesday, the militant French union CGT said according to Reuters.

As OilPrice notes, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Tuesday that the government would start the callback process for ExxonMobil’s staff at its oil depots in the country after talks between the oil company and two unions, CGT and FO, stalled. The CFDT union, however, managed on Monday to reach an agreement with Exxon.

“Today some unions, despite the deal, wants to continue the strike action and blockades, we cannot accept that,” Borne told the lower house , according to Reuters, adding that she wants “this situation to change fast,”  adding the government was prepared to take further action if needed.

“I have therefore asked the prefects, as permitted by law, to requisition the personnel needed for the functioning of the company’s depots,” she said, referring to Esso France.

“The orders are ready”, a source at the energy ministry said, adding that requisitions would only take place if the situation at the depots does not improve.

Those comments followed weekend comments by the country’s energy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher that the government was “doing its utmost to restore the situation to normal as soon as possible.”- READ MORE

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