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Petrol stations in Paris region run low due to strike at fuel depots

The Local France
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Petrol stations in Paris region run low due to strike at fuel depots
An SP98 unleaded fuel pump at a Total Energies petrol station in northern France. (Photo by Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP)

Some fuel stations in the Paris region were starting to run low on petrol and diesel on Thursday due to strike action by fuel tanker drivers contracted to TotalEnergies.

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Deliveries from two fuel depots - Gennevilliers and Coignières - which service the Paris region, have been affected by a blockade by drivers, leading to shortages in some fuel stations around the capital.

In a statement released on Monday, the union CGT Transports, called on hauliers under contracts with the TotalEnergies energy giant to walk out in protest of plans to instal cameras inside of transport lorries.

The devices are intended to alert drivers when they become too sleepy or inattentive, and according to Total Energies, they do not actively record the inside of the cabin. 

Nevertheless, CGT Transports called the plan a "violation of privacy" and warned workers to prepare for a "power struggle that is likely to last a long time and extend across the country".

As for the status of fuel stations around Paris, according to French daily Le Parisien, citing government figures, some 22 percent of service stations in the Val-de-Marne département, 21 percent in the Seine-Saint-Denis département and 20 percent in Hauts-de-Seine département were running out of at least one type of fuel on Wednesday morning.

BFMTV noted that certain fuel stations - like the Leclerc centre in Bois-d'Arcy, which rely on the Gennevilliers and Coignières depots - were entirely out of fuel as of Thursday.

Will the situation get worse?

Pascal Perri, economics expert with TV programme La Chaîne Info, told TF1 that the current situation was "a temporary movement". 

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BFMTV also reported that TotalEnergies sent out a letter to the CGT union and subcontractors announcing the suspension of the project, in an effort to resume talks and consultations over the plan.

The energy giant also told the French TV channel that at this stage there is no shortage of fuel and that they hope normal deliveries can resume quickly.

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