Strike action at oil refineries in France threatens supply chains

Weeks-long strikes by the fuel trade unions in France are leading to chaos throughout the country. Carriers are warning of supply chain disruptions, especially when it comes to transporting fresh produce.

On October 7, as a result of the blockage of the refineries, many stations of the oil company TotalEnergies lacked fuel. In such a way the French oil trade unions began to fight for higher wages. Trade union members at TotalEnergies and Esso-ExxonMobil went on strike, and station workers from the Argedis network joined to them. In support of the strike in France, more than 1,000 activists blockaded the Belgian TotalEnergies Petrochemicals Feluy plant on October 10.

The government assured that France has strategic fuel reserves for 90 days of consumption, and the prospects for supplies in the coming weeks and months eliminate the risk of a permanent shortage. However, the attraction of strategic reserves does not solve all the problems with supplying the market with fuel.

On October 11, the French government called for the immediate lifting of the fuel depot blockage and threatened to intervene to break the deadlock. During negotiations on October 12 between the trade unions and TotalEnergies, the striking employees strongly rejected the management’s proposal to release the fuel stocks.