Fuels: The strike extends to other sectors, the unions on the street

Fuels: The strike extends to other sectors, the unions on the street

In a context made inflammatory by the strike at the refineries, and just days before leaving for vacation, public and private workers are being called on Tuesday to walk down work and demonstrate for a wage increase and against the strikers’ demands .

Eager to resolve France‘s fuel supply difficulties “as soon as possible”, Emmanuel Macron called a meeting at the Elysée on Monday afternoon.

“The President of the Republic appealed to everyone’s spirit of responsibility and highlighted the unbearable consequences for those who suffer daily from this galley,” said a participant of that meeting on condition of anonymity.

Many sectors have issued strike calls for Tuesday: public services, energy, public transport, roads, food, retail, etc.

Some could move to extendable strikes, like the railroad workers who intend to use the windows open until the All Saints’ holiday, Friday night, to negotiate wage increases.

Regional train traffic is disrupted, with an average of one TER and one Intercity train out of two, as well as on the Ile-de-France networks operated by SNCF.

Also on the RATP side, bus traffic will be affected with an average of two out of three buses, while metro traffic will be close to normal. Three out of four RERs will operate on the RATP-operated sections of Lines A and B.

– 150 congregations in France

Unionists and striking workers are posted outside the TotalEnergies refinery in Donges (Loire-Atlantique) on October 14, 2022 (AFP – LOIC VENANCE)

In the oil industry, where the conflict began in late September, the strike is expected to continue on Tuesday at TotalEnergies, refinery and/or tank farm teams.

Almost 150 collection points are planned in France, according to the CGT, which organizes this day with the unions FO, Solidaires and FSU and the youth organizations Fidl, MNL, Unef and High School Life.

The first union in France, the CFDT, on the other hand, decided to stay away from the movement because it did not believe in the effectiveness of large cross-industry demonstrations to secure wage increases in companies.

In Paris, the demonstration starts at 2:00 p.m. from Place d’Italie towards Place Vauban. Another move to protest the reform of vocational schools will move from the Saint-François-Xavier metro to the Sèvres-Babylone metro.

Mathilde Panot, leader of the LFI faction in the assembly, will be present among the protesters 48 hours after the “march for expensive housing” organized by the left-wing parties in Paris on Sunday. LFI President Jean-Luc Mélenchon is expected at the Gare de Lyon railway workers’ meeting at 11am.

Police estimate there will be 15,000 and 2,000 people in the two Paris demonstrations, respectively, and authorities expect the “ultra-yellow” and “ultra-left” to attempt to form a parade in front of Union Square.

– “Unacceptable” requirements –

Philippe Martinez of the CGT takes part in an interprofessional demonstration in Paris on September 29, 2022 (AFP - STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN)
Philippe Martinez of the CGT takes part in an interprofessional demonstration in Paris on September 29, 2022 (AFP – STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN)

The day before the interprofessional mobilization, September 29, 118,500 people gathered, including 13,500 according to the Paris police (250,000 and 40,000 according to the organizers).

Participants will march for “raising wages and defending the right to strike,” according to the inter-union press release released last week.

It’s about supporting the demands of oil workers, but more broadly balancing putting this issue on the executive branch’s agenda.

Philippe Martinez, speaking at France Inter on Monday, suggested the government “to sit down at the table” with the unions to discuss “an increase in the minimum wage, a sliding scale”.

Another reason for dissatisfaction, which in particular convinced Force Ouvrière to join the movement: the requisitions of the strikers, carried out by the government to facilitate the distribution of fuel.

“The requirement is unacceptable and never the right solution,” its secretary-general, Frédéric Souillot, told the public senate on Monday.

The prospect of 49.3 votes to pass the budget in the assembly, the upcoming tightening of unemployment benefit rules, pension reform expected later this year are all ingredients fueling social anger.

Reference: www.challenges.fr

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