“Stop the sacking of EDF and the public service”. At the initiative of the four main trade unions in the energy sector, a strike call for all employees of the French giant has been launched for this Wednesday, January 26, in order to protest against recent government measures.
This protest movement on a national scale was born after the announcement made a few days ago by Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy and Finance, aimed at forcing EDF to sell more electricity and at a lower cost to its competitors to limit the rise in consumer bills.
In fact, the French State, which owns 84% of the capital of the largest electricity producer in France, forced the French company to sell 20 terawatt hours (TWh) more electricity at a cheap rate to its competitors. This year.
This measure has been calculated at 8 billion euros in loss for the French group in 2022.
STOP ransacking EDF and public service‼️
With FNME-CGT, let’s amplify STRIKE RECONDUCTIBLE of Miners and Energeticians from January 25
Public Energy Service (renationalization of electricity and gas)
% increase in salaries and pensions
WE LOOSE NOTHING
EDF strike 26 Jan. pic.twitter.com/sq9ZAoXuCE
— FNME (@FNMECGT) January 20, 2022
To protest against this decision, the unions FO, CFE-CGC, CFDT and FNME-CGT launched a strike call for all EDF employees on Wednesday.
“This is a decoy to hide an impossible to contain price increase, pending the presidential election. The basic problem is the market itself”, regretted Fabrice Coudour, the federal secretary of the FNME-CGT, to the economic daily The echoes.
The privatization of the market called into question
Beyond the FNME-CGT’s demand for a 10% increase in salaries and pensions, the energy unions have campaigned for a renationalisation of the entire public energy service, including gas and electricity.
“We see that the deregulation of the electricity market, that is to say the opening up to competition that we have wanted to install since the 2000s, is a failure. We are seeing an increase in electricity prices even though we had a reliable electricity supply system, which allowed energy independence. That is to say that we were not subject to the vagaries, as we see today with the price of gas and the geopolitical context”, explained Ludovic Bertin, president of the CFE energy union at the central Tricastin (Drôme), in the columns of Dauphine.
This government measure has revived the suspicion of the dismantling of EDF and the relaunch of the “Hercules plan”, much criticized and stalled since 2019, aimed at privatizing a large part of the activities of the French giant.