Areva looks set for a rough ride with the unions after announcing job cuts and an end to bonus pay and other perks in a bid to end abyssal losses.
While everyone agrees France’s state-owned nuclear utility has severe problems, no-one is sure of the solution.
“We’re facing job losses and the loss of rights and collective agreements; bonuses and overtime are threatened. The bosses want us to be more productive, but we’re offered no guarantees,” said the CFDT’s Jean-Pierre Bachmann.
“We don’t know if half the group’s going to be sold off, we don’t know what EDF is going to do, what our policies are towards China, we know nothing. The only thing we do know is the workforce has to be slimmed down,” was the opinion of the FO’s Josè Montès.
Areva has been struggling with cost overruns and delays with new technology and new reactors it is building, and has a huge debt that grew bigger last year by over four billion euros as the company lost money hand over fist.
The nuclear operator is unlikely to be privatised but the government has been looking at ways to hive off and sell parts of the company without compromising on safety.