The protest against the pension reform is generating some turmoil in the nuclear power plants. Since Saturday, load drops have been observed, and the CGT Energie does not refrain from going further.
Unions of workers in the energy sector clearly know what blocking, nuisance or bargaining power – call it what you want – they can muster. Since Friday and the adoption by the Senators of the end of the special pension scheme concerning their sector (for new employees only), the CGT Energie has launched a strike movement. And the effects are tangible: last Saturday, EDF recorded a drop in electricity production of around 5,000 megawatts, due to the stalling of part of the activity in several nuclear power plants.
Should we expect power cuts this Tuesday, March 7? This day is very clearly seen as a moment of truth by the unions, who have called for “bringing France to a halt” and encouraging blockades and actions to slow down the economy. This weekend, AFP had received the abstruse response on this subject from Fabrice Coudour, federal secretary of the CGT Energy: “The first network security messages have been reached and our goal is not to affect users”, he had indicated, adding that “the question of going further” should arise this week. “We will be capable of anything,” he announced. The employees on strike are currently engaged in a “renewable” movement.
The Tricastin power plants in the Drôme, those of Gravelines in the North, Paluel in Seine-Maritime, Flamanville 2 in the Manche and Saint-Laurent in the Loir-et-Cher are affected by the production cuts. Until then, RTE, the network manager, supervises these reductions in electricity production in a very controlled manner, to avoid the risk of cuts. But the balance of power initiated by the unions could be strengthened, the CGT Energie told AFP that the strike movement would last “at least until 7 (March) and at most until winning”.
In a leaflet released on Saturday, the tone was just as firm: “EDF’s production agents are sending a clear message: they will not allow themselves to be pushed around and will be in solidarity with all the workers to definitively stop the reform”.