EDF: Up to 7,000 Job Cuts in Four Years

Up to 7000 jobs could be cut at EDF in France

EMPLOYMENT: EDF foresees a decline in enrollment from 7.7% to 10.4% in four years, against 5% in three years originally planned …

EDF will amplify and extend by one year its workforce reduction plan announced last year, reaching in 2019 a target objective representing between 5,200 and 7,000 job cuts in four years, according to figures to be presented Thursday to the central works council.

The electrician now expects its workforce in France will eventually at the end of 2019 to be between 60,200 and 62,050 employees, against 67,200 the end of 2015, according to several union sources. A decrease of employees by 7.7% to 10.4% in four years, against 5% in three years that was originally planned.

Intensifying worries for the unions, while the company has big plans before it (heavy maintenance of French nuclear power plants and construction of two reactors at Hinkley Point RPR, England). Especially since these figures raise questions, said a union source, who wonders if they include or not for example the early closure of the Fessenheim nuclear power plant.

“We had fears for the future, but not at this point”

After recruiting for several years to renew its skills, EDF had reversed steam last year: in January 2016, it announced a drop in its workforce by 5%, “no layoffs” over three years (2016- 2018), or about 3,500 fewer jobs. But the unions had indicated that it was already a fork, with the 2500-4200 programmed job cuts.

Just in 2016, about 2,000 jobs have already been lost, said the union, FO last week by encrypting 7,000 deletions programmed over four years. “We had fears for the future, but not at this point,” explained its representative Serge Gianorsi.

“We left in the period for a fairly deep down,” observed Vincent Rodet (CFDT). “This is the translation of the lever payroll as feared” to see implemented after the announcement by EDF that it was reviewing upwards its savings plan, he said.

To retire up to three years before the date

In January 2016, the company had accompanied the downsizing of a plan to save € 700 million over three years. In April, it was finally a billion euros until 2019 that it is committed to reduce its operating expenses. An effort that comes as the state shareholder at nearly 85%, will bail amounting to three billion euros in debt the group. But the CEO of EDF Jean-Bernard Lévy was then assured that he would “not have further staffing cuts” than had already announced to the trade union partners.

An agreement to “anticipate changes in employment” in the company over the 2016-2019 period was signed in November. Alongside measures to strengthen internal mobility, “privileged to recruitment” according to EDF, are provided retirement of devices to retire up to three years before schedule.

Main covered by this part: employees of support functions (procurement, legal, HR, sales, logistics …). But the Unions CGT, SUD, CFE-CGC, CFDT, FO and CFTC are also warning of staffing cuts that “threaten important research and development.”

EDF declined to comment.

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