“Robin Hood” vitality strikers give free vitality to French colleges, hospitals and low-income properties

Amid nationwide strikes within the vitality sector, some employees in France have discovered a brand new approach to protest. On Thursday, Operations Robin Hood — not approved by the federal government — offered free fuel and electrical energy to varsities, universities and low-income households throughout the nation.

The unauthorized energy financial savings additionally included public sports activities amenities, nurseries, universities, public libraries, and a few small companies and houses that misplaced energy.

Operations “Robin des Bois” – named after the hero of English folklore, Robin Hood – had been a part of a broader effort to drive the federal government to desert plans to extend the retirement age in France.

The overall secretary of GGT, Philippe Martinez, one in every of France’s largest federations of commerce unions, stated the availability of free vitality was supposed to “intensify the stability of energy” in favor of placing employees. “[It’s about] Returning energy to those that do not have it in any respect as a result of they cannot afford it, and making it free for hospitals and colleges.”

The reference to the Englishman, identified for robbing the wealthy to provide to the poor, was “acceptable,” Martinez informed FranceInfo on Wednesday.

The unorthodox protest comes throughout Europe’s ongoing cost-of-living disaster that may see fuel and electrical energy costs rise an extra 15% in France in 2023, including to long-standing issues. In 2021, 1 / 4 of households in France are already struggling to pay their vitality payments.

On the similar time, strikes by energy employees at energy crops, refineries, ports and docks on Thursday minimize French energy availability by 2 gigawatts at three nuclear reactors, a blackout schedule for state-controlled group EDF confirmed. Friday morning.

The CGTs Nationwide Confederation of Ports and Docks stated strikes have additionally taken place in virtually each French port, with a lot of them coming to an entire halt. Whereas TotalEnergies employees ended their strike on Thursday night time, different energy strikes continued into Friday.

The vitality strike follows a nationwide strike on January 19 to protest pension reforms proposed by President Emmanuel Macron’s authorities, which embrace plans to lift the retirement age from 62 to 64.

The modifications may even finish sure retirement plans at nationwide vitality corporations EDF and Engie that enable some employees to retire early.

And whereas Macron has pledged to press forward with reforms that might be offered to parliament on Monday, strikers additionally stated they’d not again down.

>> The French authorities pushes pension reform to Parliament

“The goal of at this time’s protests is to indicate that the stability of energy is considerably advancing and that if we need to, we will paralyze the nation,” stated Gwenelle Blagne, a CGT consultant at a thermal energy plant in Cordemais, western France. .

A second nationwide strike involving lecturers, civil servants, transport employees and extra is scheduled for Tuesday 31 January.

“We’ll proceed” Extra “Robin des Bois” operations are additionally possible. “If the federal government doesn’t reverse its pension reforms, we are going to proceed and we are going to present vitality to everybody who doesn’t have entry to regulated tariffs, whether or not they’re public establishments or companies,” Frédéric Propel, basic secretary of the CGT in Bagneux, on the outskirts of Paris, informed FranceInfo on Friday. .

In Paris and town’s suburbs, he stated, free vitality was offered on Thursday for hospital clinics, skating rinks, swimming swimming pools, secondary colleges, public buildings, road lighting and heating. “At the least it is significant and helps the viewers,” he added.

Plans to save lots of or minimize vitality might also grow to be extra focused. GCT Secretary Common Martinez on Wednesday denied that elected officers or designated people might minimize off vitality provides – with some exceptions. “I might counsel that among the billionaires who assume we needn’t elevate salaries and that all the pieces goes properly on this nation can achieve this by residing the expertise of thousands and thousands of households going through vitality insecurity,” he stated.

Distinguished politicians have spoken out in opposition to the unauthorized provision of free vitality.

On Wednesday, Economic system Minister Bruno Le Maire known as it “unacceptable. It is lower than the CGT to resolve costs,” he informed Europe 1. It is the state, the general public curiosity, the French individuals by means of them. [elected] consultant.”

It’s possible that taxpayers will ultimately should foot the invoice for unauthorized use of electrical energy, Power Transition Minister Agnès Pannier-Ronacher informed France 2 on Friday morning.

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