French fuel industry strike targets service stations and refineries

Service stations around France are expected to close on Friday as staff walk out, while unions will also be blockading several oil refineries.

French fuel industry strike targets service stations and refineries
Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP

The CGT union has called a strike on Friday to protest at low pay for employees of the French energy giant Total Energies, particularly those who work in the company’s network of service stations.

The refineries of Gonfreville-l’Orcher (Seine-Maritime), Feyzin (Rhône), La Mède bio-refinery (Bouches-du-Rhône) and the depot of the former Flanders refinery near Dunkirk (Nord) will be blockaded.

The union expects “no product will enter or leave these sites for 24 hours” where production levels will be at a minimum. Walkouts at the Donges refinery (Loire-Atlantique) are also expected.

Total Energies also has a network of service stations, both on autoroutes and smaller roads, and it is expected that some of them will close on Friday, although it is not expected that all will be affected. 

READ ALSO 8 things to know about driving in France this summer

Thierry Defresne, CGT rep for Total Engergies staff, told France Info: “We see that a total of 10 billion dollars have been paid to shareholders for the year 2021. So we think that there is indeed an imbalance.

“In the face of the 2.35 percent that was given to employees at the beginning of the year, if we compare to the 52 percent increase of the CEO, we think that in this story and in the face of the historical record of Total Energies, employees have been forgotten about.”

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Ryanair strikes in France cancelled after agreement with French pilots

Pilots flying for Ryanair out of several French airports were set to be on strike this weekend over disputes regarding pay and working conditions, but after reaching an agreement with the company the industrial action will be called off.

Ryanair strikes in France cancelled after agreement with French pilots

Holidaymakers will be happy to hear that walk-outs involving French Ryanair pilots, which were scheduled for several French airports the weekend of July 23rd and 24th, have been called off.

The union representing French pilots working for Ryanair has reached an agreement with the company, and thus have cancelled their walk-out scheduled for this weekend (July 23rd and 24th). The strike was intended to impact Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Beauvais airports.

Pilots with Ryanair in Spain are also covered by the agreement, and therefore will cancel their planned to strike, which was set to take place from July 25th to 28th.

The company said in a statement that the agreement will include a return to pre-pandemic salary levels, as employees had accepted pay cuts during the crisis to keep the company afloat. As a result, the union representing pilots, SNPL, announced planned industrial action has been cancelled, as shown in union’s tweet below.

Belgian pilots with Ryanair, who have also been planning on strike this weekend, do not seem to be concerned by this agreement. You can find a list of affected flights flying out of or arriving in Belgium HERE.

Keep up to date on industrial action in France by checking our summer strike timetable.

READ MORE: France’s summer 2022 strike timetable for roads, rail and air travel