France’s EDF says 10-day strike from June 19 could impact power production

France’s EDF says 10-day strike from June 19 could impact power production
Above, inside the EDF-managed hydroelectric power station in Orelle of Maurienne Valley. France has faced a wave of protests over the last two months from workers in the travel and energy sectors. (Reuters)
Updated 19 June 2018

France’s EDF says 10-day strike from June 19 could impact power production

France’s EDF says 10-day strike from June 19 could impact power production

PARIS: French utility EDF said it had received a warning from workers of plans to embark on a 10-day strike from June 19 until June 29, which could affect production at power plants, in the latest sign of industrial unrest to hit the country.
France has faced a wave of protests over the last two months from workers in the travel and energy sectors, who have been demonstrating against President Emmanuel Macron’s plans for economic reforms, although some of those protests have been showing signs of losing momentum.
EDF did not give more details regarding the planned strike and which power plants could be affected.
France’s hard-line CGT trade union also said in a statement that it was calling on its members to carry out strikes, marked by three days of street protests on June 21, 26 and 28 in the French gas and electricity sector.
The CGT said it was protesting against plans by France to privatize French energy group Engie, and against the government’s plans for reforms in the French energy sector.
A prolonged rail strike in France has also led to spiraling transport costs for grain firms and raised the risk that the EU’s biggest crop producer will be saddled with more stocks than expected when the summer harvest arrives.
Air France has also been hit with strikes in a dispute over pay, although Air France unions on Monday suspended a planned four-day strike starting on June 23.
Public support for the rail strike has also been waning, according to opinion polls. Nearly two-thirds of the public back Macron’s proposals to remove some of benefits enjoyed by employees of the state-railway firm SNCF and to cut the SNCF’s debt, according to a poll by research group Elabe.
Earlier this week, the French government presented a new parliamentary bill to help cut red tape on companies, open up more financing for them and create incentives for employee profit-sharing.
The proposed law is part of President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-business reform drive that has already eased labor laws and cut companies’ and entrepreneurs’ taxes.