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EDF’s astonishing hypocrisy : during global talks on corporate social responsibility, EDF subsidiary in Belgium illegally fires workers

30 June 2017
On 29 June, 14 workers of EDF Luminus were summarily dismissed, without prior notifications, consultations, negotiations (one worker on sick leave was fired by SMS) – in apparent violation of a number of sectoral and national laws and regulations.

The reason given :  to save Luminus, EDF's Belgian subsidiary, from bankruptcy!  Luminus has 1,600 staff.   Why 14?  Because, if they fire 15, they fall under more stringent Belgian regulations. 

The astonishing hypocrisy is that, on the same day, workers’ representatives from around the world were meeting with EDF management at its global headquarters in Paris to discuss the workings of the global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Agreement.

PSI Deputy General Secretary David Boys said:

“Corporate social responsibility is not just a logo that you affix to your brand to make you more attractive to investors and clients, many of whom are governments.  CSR is a set of principles and practices that must be respected and implemented, in good times and bad.  We take this violation very seriously and will prepare unions around the world to resist any further similar actions by EDF management.”

The workers' representatives in Paris submitted the following statement : 

This Thursday, 29 June 2017, the management of EDF Luminus, the Belgian subsidiary of the EDF group, made the aggressive decision to fire 14 people, in violation of Belgian law.

In total contradiction with the rules of the gas and electricity sector of Belgium, management abruptly fired the workers, for some of them via text message, without any sort of negotiation with their union representatives.

The members of the Global Committee for Dialogue on Social Responsibility (CDRS), representing the workers of the EDF group and meeting at a plenary session, firmly rejected these shameful and unacceptable practices and refused to let them extend to other workers.

As the management of EDF sat down to discuss the Belgian issues with the CDRS, the decision was being taken in Brussels, highlighting the cynicism of EDF management.

Although EDF might cloak itself in claims of social responsibility, the CDRS noted that the top management of the group endorsed these actions.

The management of EDF has scandalously broken their own ethical standards and shown that the EDF Group Agreement on Social Responsibility is worth little more than a used rag.

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