La centrale nucléaire de Tricastin dans la Drôme est, elle aussi, touchée par un mouvement de grève.

The strike in the nuclear power plants could “delay the return to the network of certain reactors”



It’s not just in refineries and oil depots that anger is brewing. Also in nuclear power plants. Several of them still knew, this Wednesday, strike movements.

A protest movement that is spreading since, on Thursday, the Gravelines power plant in the North, the most powerful in Western Europe will join it. Like the other strikers, those of this central, on strike at the call of FO and the CGT, are campaigning for a salary increase (5% of their gross salary).

At the branch level, after months of arm wrestling, the employers of the electricity and gas industries and the unions reached an agreement on October 6, subject to signature until Monday, which notably provides for an increase of 3.6% of the basic national salary in 2022 and 2023, including 2.3% for 2023. Progress “notable but far from reaching the claims”, in particular of the FNME-CGT, indicated its federal secretary Fabrice Coudour. ” As it is a branch agreement, there will be company negotiations behind it”, he added, thus specifying the object of these strike movements. The CGT notably asked for inflation to be caught up and recalled, through the voice of Fabrice Coudour, that it was around 6% in August. There is ” no trend that emerges for the moment » the consultation of the base by the CGT unions of the electricity and gas industries, to know if this agreement will be ratified by the union, concluded the federal secretary of the FNME-CGT.

The laborious recycling of spent fuel, the other major flaw in French nuclear power

Risk of “cuts” for companies

To win their case, the Gravelines strikers are threatening to delay the connection to the network of one of the six 900 MW reactors, which will be shut down this weekend for annual maintenance and which must be restarted before the end of the year. According to the FO secretary of the social and economic committee, Franck Redondo, a delay in the connection would have no consequences for individuals, but would lead to ” cuts” In the enterprises.

A risk all the more important as France, like Europe, has been worried for several months about its ability to avoid power cuts this winter if it runs out of gas and electricity. However, in France, this concern is particularly present since the corrosion problems observed on several nuclear reactors in the country. At the beginning of September, only 24 of the 56 reactors in EDF’s nuclear fleet were in service, the others being shut down for scheduled maintenance operations or due to corrosion. For its part, EDF indicates to the Tribune that ” these strike movements are likely to delay the return to the network of certain reactors. However, we are not yet able to anticipate the exact impact. As soon as this is the case, we will make a regulatory communication within the framework of REMIT (the European regulation relating to the integrity and transparency of the wholesale energy markets, editor’s note)”.

The laborious recycling of spent fuel, the other major flaw in French nuclear power

Beyond the Gravelines plant, several of them have been on strike for several weeks at the call of the inter-unions. These include, in particular, the Tricastin (Drôme), Cruas (Ardèche), Bugey (Ain), Cattenom (Moselle) power plants and for some, this delays the tests prior to their return to the network after scheduled maintenance operations or work to resolve corrosion problems.

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ZOOM- Transport in Saint-Nazaire affected by a strike for wages

Refineries, oil depots, nuclear power plants and now public transport. In Saint-Nazaire, in Loire-Atlantique, employees of the Transport Company of the Nazairian agglomeration (Stran) were on strike. A movement which began Tuesday morning and whose notice was renewable. On its site, the Stran indicated, in fact, that several lines were affected due to “a strike action”.

As with all social movements in the country, the strikers are demanding a salary increase. ” We are on strike for our salaries, we are asking for the indexation of our salaries to the level of inflation. We had a 1.6% increase for 2022 while inflation is at +6%, we are asking for the difference”said Catherine Blesse, CGT union representative at Stran. “The negotiations are stagnating, our management is not making us up to par at all, he is offering us a bonus of 325 euros, in all and for everything and per agent. We have a fairly historic mobilization, with all the departments affected, we have 80% of drivers, supervisors, sales staff…”she added, adding that the CFDT was also part of the movement.

About 240 people work at the Stran, which serves an area with some 127,000 inhabitants, including Saint-Nazaire and its agglomeration, including Donges where the TotalEnergies refinery had been on strike since Wednesday morning.

(With AFP)

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