A French labor union on Tuesday announced that ongoing strikes at TotalEnergies oil refineries would be extended, along with two facilities of Esso-ExxonMobil, even as pumps struggle to keep gas flowing in the country.
Demanding higher wages, strikers at TotalEnergies extended the worker blockades called by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) despite mounting pressure from the government, said Eric Sellini, the CGT coordinator for the group.
Union members voted overwhelmingly to continue the strike, Sellini added.
Also on Tuesday, the CGT and Workers' Force (FO) unions said staff at the Esso-ExxonMobil group's two refineries in France would also continue striking, rejecting an agreement negotiated by other unions with the employers.
The deal does not meet the demands of the strikers, as the employers' offer essentially only consists of a premium, said Christophe Aubert, a central union representative of the CGT.
In an interview with broadcaster RTL, government spokesman Olivier Veran demanded on Tuesday morning that "the totality of the blockades must be lifted immediately, otherwise we will do everything necessary to lift them."
Reports have emerged that strikes, along with discount campaigns of market leader TotalEnergies, created supply bottlenecks and hoarding by panicked motorists, feeding a fuel shortage at French gas pumps.
About 15% of stations are affected by the shortage of at least one type of fuel, Minister of Energy Transition Agnes Pannier-Runacher told news channel BFMTV last week.