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French unions fight back against privatization

10 September, 2019IndustriALL’s affiliates in France’s energy sector are calling for a national strike on 19 September, in a response to the government’s plans to restructure and partially privatize energy giant Electricité de France (EDF).

The French government is proposing to divide the largely state owned EDF into two parts, one of which will become open to private investors under the so called Hercule project.

French unions in the energy sector have come together to protest the dismantling of the EDF in the middle of a climate emergency, and are calling on the government to focus on what is in the public interest, rather than in the interest of a select few.

Opposing the plans, IndustriALL affiliates centres FNME-CGT, CFE-CFDT, CFE-CGC Energie, FO Energie et Mines have announced a nation-wide strike on 19 September.

“We are calling on the government to provide the EDF with the necessary means to invest in  energy transition and service to the public, as well as to renounce privatization,” the unions said in a statement.

IndustriALL Global Union signed a global responsible employer agreement with EDF in May last year.

Energy is a public good and a strategic sector, there can be no strong and sustainable economy without energy independence and infrastructure development.

“Access to energy, security of supply and favourable energy prices contribute directly to industrial growth and the creation of sustainable jobs. At a time of great energy challenges, the world must rise to ensure the independence of its supply and a just transition to a low-carbon economy.

“We support the French unions and all EDF workers to call on management to suspend the Hercule project, and are calling for a quality social dialogue that meets the legitimate concerns of EDF workers around the world,” says Kemal Özkan, IndustriALL assistant general secretary.