Strike of January 31: mobilization has already begun in the energy and port sector


Preparing the ground for the big day of January 31: against the government’s pension reform, the strike resumed on Thursday in refineries, ports, docks and EDF power stations, which should be the only ones to prolong the movement on Friday.

Scheduled to last 48 hours in refineries, the movement could end early Thursday evening on most TotalEnergies sites, said the CGT. The objective: to preserve for the national strike of Tuesday, January 31. At the call of all the unions, it will affect all sectors: schools, civil servants, transport, services…

According to a map posted online by Unsa, more than 200 gathering places have already been identified for this day, which is as many as on the day of the 19th. ‘a good start on Tuesday than doing two days,’ explained Éric Sellini, CGT manager at TotalEnergies.

Strong mobilization in the ports

For this day of mobilization, particularly in the energy sector, EDF lost up to 1,700 MW of power on its hydraulic park, the equivalent of more than one nuclear reactor, before a return to normal in the ‘afternoon. The manager of high and very high voltage lines RTE confirmed that “drops took place this afternoon, but without affecting the security of electricity supply”.

The National Federation of Ports and Docks of the CGT also reported in a press release a “strong mobilization of workers in almost all French ports, with often 100% strikers and ports completely stopped”. She called to continue the movement with a new one-day work stoppage on January 31, and promised to amplify “the fight from the week of February 6 through renewable actions”.


At the port of La Pallice in La Rochelle, 140 dockers were on strike, or 100% of the workforce according to the CGT union representative. And in Rouen, the leading grain port in Europe, around thirty CGT dockers blocked access to the administrative headquarters of the company Senalia, operator of the port’s main grain silos.

Refineries in slow motion

In the refineries, where a major wage strike had already taken place in October which had caused gasoline shortages throughout the country, shipments of fuel to the depots were blocked, with the usual slogan: “Nothing does not come in, nothing comes out”.

This is particularly the case at the biorefinery of La Mède (Bouches-du-Rhône), which has gone from 60% to almost 100% of strikers, or that of Donges (Loire-Atlantique), with “50 to 70%” of strikers. They were still nearly 80% at the Normandy refinery, and 30% at the Grandpuits site (Seine-et-Marne), which is however in conversion and no longer ships fuel.

Paris will close its town halls

On the menu of the mobilization, also “positive” actions à la Robin Hood, such as free energy for example, in order to counterbalance the criticisms addressed after the announcement of “targeted cuts”, in particular against elected officials. The mayor (PS) of Paris Anne Hidalgo announced Thursday that she joined the call launched by the boss of the PCF, Fabien Roussel, to symbolically close the town halls on January 31, in solidarity with the mobilization against the pension reform.

As of Wednesday, cuts to wind and solar farms in the Montluçon sector were claimed by the CGT, as well as in an industrial zone in Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne), Thursday morning. As always, Enedis will file a complaint.

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