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Unions say strike halts flows at France’s second-largest gas depot

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A flag of French CGT labour union is seen in front of the Engie power plant near Saint-Nazaire, France, on June 28, 2022.

PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (REUTERS) – The CFDT and CGT general trade unions have said France’s second-largest gas storage facility was no longer receiving gas on Thursday (June 30), and won’t do so until at least Monday (July 4), because of a strike.

Workers at the site in Gournay-sur-Aronde, located 93km north of Paris, say they are striking to demand higher wages amid soaring global inflation.

Industrial action is gaining momentum across France’s energy sector just as President Emmanuel Macron and his European counterparts tackle a gas crisis that is prompting concerns over winter supplies.

Earlier on Thursday, France’s FNME-CGT union made a call to all workers in the country’s energy sector to stage “a powerful strike”, including blockades of facilities, on Monday.

French gas utility Engie, which operates the Gournay gas storage facility, told Reuters that “it is undergoing long-planned maintenance. Operations will resume in the coming days”. It did not respond directly to questions on reports of a work stoppage.

Gournay is operated by Engie subsidiary Storengy. The company remained on track to fill its storage tanks ahead of winter by Nov 1, Engie said.

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