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how the social dialogue between TotalEnergies and the striking refiners failed

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It is by a very large majority that the strike was renewed at TotalEnergies this Thursday, October 13 in the morning. The day before, after yet another nocturnal general assembly, the strikers had already “categorically” rejected the management’s request to resume fuel deliveries this Thursday from 5 a.m. as a precondition for the opening, in the process, of wage negotiations. Regretting this decision, Total estimated in a first press release this Thursday morning that the conditions were therefore “ not met to organize negotiations between all the staff representative organisations”. Before announcing, at 10 a.m., to AFP, proposing a 6% increase in 2023 for its French employees.

Read also: Fuel shortage live: four unions call for a day of interprofessional strike on October 18

The multinational also announced the allocation in December of an exceptional bonus, representing one month’s salary, to all of its employees worldwide, “subject to wage agreements”. The pressure is mounting. “They have the capacity, therefore the duty, to increase the salaries of all their employees in proportions that they will negotiate with the trade unions”insisted Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, speaking of the oil group this morning on RTL.

For lack of dialogue, the threat of requisition, already in force in one of the refineries of the Esso-ExxonMobil group, now hangs over the oil giant. In sight, the Dunkirk depot, strategic for the supply of Hauts-de-France, very affected by the fuel shortage.

The day of Wednesday had however known a major step forward, when the management of TotalEnergies received, bilaterally, all the trade unions of the company. Everyone, including the CGT, while the day before the company had made “removal of blockages” a prerequisite for any discussion with the striking union.

“Temperature taking”

” Finally ! »reacted, Wednesday evening, on France 2, Emmanuel Macron, in an exasperated tone, as if to better underline how much this beginning of dialogue had been long overdue at the French oil giant. “These are social conflicts in two companies which have made significant profits, which have distributed a lot to their shareholders but where the salary debates have been slow”, insisted the President of the Republic.

The “debate” has in fact still not started at TotalEnergies. Wednesday’s discussions were, moreover, only “temperature taking”, “informal exchanges” in an open context, said a source familiar with the matter. “There is no question of salary proposals at this stage because the mandatory annual negotiations have not started. This institutional framework is essential for this. »

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