The leading French trade unions will hold a nationwide strike on October 18, demanding higher wages and protesting against the government's attempts to force striking energy sector employees to go back to work, the unions said on Thursday.

Iran PressEurope: "We call on employees to demonstrate for higher wages and protection of the right to organize strikes," the unions said in a statement, aired by the Franceinfo broadcaster.

According to the statement, the planned strike is a response to government interference in the social movement of oil sector employees and encroachment on the right to strike.

The strike will be held at the call of the General Confederation of Labor, Force Ouvriere, the Federation Syndicale Unitaire, and the Solidaires labor union. French transport unions, including national rail operator SNCF and youth organizations, will also join.

The industrial action by energy sector employees has been ongoing in France since September 21, when ExxonMobil employees went on strike. They were joined on September 27 by workers of French energy company TotalEnergies.

Last Tuesday, trade unions announced a three-day protest demanding a 10% pay increase as well as the indexation of 2022 wages to match the current record-breaking inflation.

The strike led to a shortage of fuel at every third gas station in the country. The government forcibly returned the personnel of oil storage facilities to work in the city of Dunkirk and in a commune of  Port-Jerome-sur-Seine in northern France.


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