PARIS, Oct 8 (Reuters) – The French government will not ration petrol for drivers or restrict the use of service stations in response to supply problems linked to refinery strikes, Environment Minister Christophe Bechu said on Saturday.
“We haven’t reached this point yet,” Bechu told franceinfo radio when asked if the government would impose any national measures beyond bans in some places on filling jerry cans.
“We are calling on people’s calm and sense of responsibility,” the minister said, adding that he believed the situation would ease over the next few days.
With the strikes at TotalEnergies facilities heading into their 11th day, roughly one in five French petrol stations are not being supplied as usual and strategic oil reserves are likely to be used this weekend.
A walkout by CGT trade union members at TotalEnergies – mainly over pay – has disrupted operations at two refineries and two storage facilities, and two Exxon Mobil refineries have faced similar problems since Sept. 20.
“Nothing has moved on, the strikes were continued this morning,” a CGT representative told Reuters.
He said the union would make a new appeal on Saturday to TotalEnergies Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne to open negotiations ahead of formal wage talks in November, and that the union had not given up on any of its demands.
(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Jane Merriman and Catherine Evans)