The French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday that the time for negotiation is now over because the ongoing strike by union employees had significantly reduced the amount of gasoline available to service stations around the nation, according to Reuters.
Workers at multiple TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) refineries and storage facilities continued their strike protest on Monday, according to a CGT trade union representative. They are calling for a pay raise that would better reflect growing inflation.
The union spokesman said that strikes were harming TotalEnergies’ refineries in Normandie, Donges, La Mede, and Feyzin as well as the Dunkirk depot.
“The time for negotiation is over,” Le Maire told BFM TV and RMC Radio on Monday, adding that he considered the CGT’s ongoing strike action as “unacceptable” and “illegitimate.”
The French prime minister said on Sunday that new requisitioning procedures would likely be necessary to release supplies.
France will require some time to return to normal, even as the government continues to employ force to drive supplies out of depots affected by the walkouts.
According to data released by the government, nearly one in three gas stations nationwide have not received the proper supply in the recent days.
However, the number is higher in several parts of the country’s north, particularly in and around Paris.
According to French Transport Minister Clement Beaune, the situation at French gas stations might not return to normal until the following week.
“We’re still struggling,” said Beaune.