Will service station managers go on strike to deprive Reunion residents of the 20ct discount?

Last Friday, TotalÉnergie announced in the Journal du Dimanche that it intends to apply from September 1 a discount of 20 cents at the pump in departments abroad, the same as in mainland France.

A shout from the service station managers

Immediately there was an outcry from the union of service station operators (SRESS). Its new president, Thierry Legros, declared himself against, unless this rebate is applied to all service stations.

We can learn more about this in the Quotidien de la bouche of Florian Cousineau, the director of the SRPP, according to “Other oil companies, such as Engen, Ola or Vito, will find it difficult to align with Total“.

According to Thierry Legros, of JIR, “The general can afford this type of initiative. It drills, refines and distributes fuels. He has a way of doing it“. Meaning that others cannot have them.

This is, forgive me for being so raw, to make fun of the people of Reunion. Oil companies, both small and large, have been straining themselves in recent years, especially since the start of the crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Consider the example of TotalEnergies. The oil company, supposedly French but not taxed in France, made a profit of 16 billion dollars in 2021, 4.9 billion in the 1st quarter of 2022 and 5.7 billion in the 2nd. That’s almost triple from last year at the same time.

And of this 16 billion from last year, half, or about 8 billion, will be distributed to the shareholders of the oil company.

And this is just one example. All the other companies, I mean all of them, saw their profits explode. Le Monde gives the examples of ExxonMobil and Shell, with 23 billion and 20.1 billion dollars in revenue respectively. But also Chevron (15.6 billion) and BP (7.6 billion)…

So the oil companies, including Engen, Ola or Vito, have a way to allocate this rebate of 20 cents.

TotalÉnergies distributes the crumbs

Faced with these records and modest income, TotalEnergie practices the policy of small gifts. Knowing that Total sells 10 billion liters of fuel per year in France, a simple rule of three makes it possible to check the value of the discount given to 500 million euros. Compared to 16 billion in revenue from last year…

The same problem in mainland France

Faced with this, the service station managers, instead of fighting against the tankers, prefer to do it to deprive the Reunions of this rebate of 20 cents. They always put on the table the same argument of the risk of closing service stations.

The problem is that this risk is not specific to Reunion. Francis Pousse, president of the service station and new energy branch of Mobilians, which represents 5,800 service stations in France, explained to France Info that the problem is the same in mainland France.

Total is a French brand and controls the entire chain, importing oil, refining oil, distributing oil. Others in the French sector, for example Esso or BP (who made a profit of 7.6 billion, editor’s note), are wholesalers who do not have the means to make this discount of 20 cents. These service stations, usually in rural areas, shop in a market where this additional 20 cent discount does not exist.
Total negotiated this move with the government. The problem is with other people. We fought for several years to save the suburban stations in particular and this was a difficult blow because for 4 months, and we do not blame the consumers for this, the sales were at half mast.
We have points of sale closing with obvious job losses, but above all a problem of access to energy

1,700 jobs are threatened in Reunion

It is understood that the problem arises in more serious terms in Reunion due to the agreed price system that is put in place, with the corresponding maintenance jobs of the pump attendants, while in the mainland the pumps are often free. So the managers do not have to bear the salary of the attendants.

The number of 1,700 jobs that could be lost was generally announced by station managers but we have no way of verifying it.

But who will risk explaining to the Reunionese that the managers of the service stations who apparently have no mercy for the big cars they ride, will hit, or even block the SRPP depot in the Port. like this happened in February, denying motorists a discount of 20 cents per liter of fuel? That is, for a 50 liter tank, a loss of 10 euros per tank!

I wish them luck!

So what is the solution?

Let’s listen to Francis Pousse, the representative of 5,800 service station managers in France, on France Info:

I think that actually, legally, it’s complicated to set up (specific help for stations from brands other than Total, editor’s note). This is an opportunity to bring back to the table a file that we have been asking for years, which is to rebuild a structural aid fund for service stations to help them diversify new energy. . We will need electricity, especially fast terminals everywhere. It’s not just on the highway that you need to recharge your car as quickly as possible. And then, we need help for the modernization of the economy, as we have done a little for tobacco shops over the years, to help the service stations to change the different offers, so that the whole point of sale is profitable”

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