French energy union CGT plans October 18 strike for higher wages

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(Bloomberg) — Electricité de France SA, Engie SA, TotalEnergies SE and other French energy companies face potential disruption on Oct. 18 as the CGT union called for a nationwide strike to push for higher wages in a context of galloping inflation.

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Energy prices are surging due to dwindling gas deliveries from Russia to Europe, while low output from EDF’s nuclear power plants due to maintenance and repairs of almost half of its 56 nuclear reactors makes the situation even worse.

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The FNME-CGT, the energy trade union federation, is already carrying out walkouts in the EDF nuclear power plants of Bugey, Cattenom, Cruas, Gravelines and Tricastin and at the natural gas storage sites of Engie. Now he calls for « an extension of the strike in all energy companies ».

« The impact of the strike affects the restart of the reactors and constrains their availability, » said the FNME-CGT federation.

The planned restarts of several EDF reactors have been regularly delayed by days or even weeks in recent months, raising fears of potential shortages in the event of a cold snap during the coming winter. EDF is sticking to its forecast for French nuclear output for 2022, which is at the lower end of the 280 to 300 terawatt-hour range, a spokesman for the utility told Bloomberg on Thursday.

The chaos in France’s energy industry is being exacerbated by weeks-long walkouts that are hampering oil refining and fuel distribution across France, although some improvement may come as workers at a Exxon Mobil Corp. in the south of France have decided to resume work on Thursday.


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