PARIS (Reuters) -The CGT union at the core of a weeks-long strike at oil major TotalEnergies slammed the door to talks on Friday, leaving more moderate unions to reach a wage deal as industrial action continues to leave French petrol stations short of fuel.
“We have seen a masquerade ... the offers on the table are clearly insufficient”, CGT representative Alexis Antonioli told reporters after his union quit the talks on Thursday night.
A few hours later, the more moderate CFDT and CFE-CGC unions representing a majority of workers struck a deal with TotalEnergies for a 7% pay rise and bonus payment from 3,000 euros to 6,000 euros ($2,921 to $5,842).
TotalEnergies confirmed the agreement on Friday. Though the deal is legally binding under French law, the CGT standoff means mean strike action could continue for some time yet.
The example at ExxonMobil, where strikes at two French refineries continued for several more days after a deal was reached with more moderate unions in the majority, showed that only government intervention ultimately allowed for the release of supplies, an industry source said.
A CGT representative at TotalEnergies told Reuters that all ongoing strikes, affecting four refineries and a depot, have continued on Friday morning.
The CGT previously said it wanted a 10% wage rise, citing inflation and the company’s windfall profits from the global energy crisis.
According to a statistical average provided by the government, one in three French petrol stations has been struggling with supplies this week, but many have run dry.
In the northern Hauts-de-France and Paris regions, parents could not drive their children to sports matches, employees struggled to get to work and people had to cancel planned trips.
Energy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher on Friday said that at this stage, the government was not planning further requisitioning but added that TotalEnergies bosses and CGT officials must resume talks despite the setback. The government has also urged TotalEnergies to raise salaries.