French energy union threatens to cut power during Cannes Film Festival

French unions have threatened to shut off the power in protest against President Macron's controversial pension reform
French unions have threatened to shut off the power in protest against President Macron's controversial pension reform Copyright Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images
By David Mouriquand
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

Lights, Camera, Action! Except that first part may not be possible during this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Here's why.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Lights, Camera, Action!"

Except that first part may not be possible during this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

In a direct threat to the festival, French unions have threatened to shut off the power in protest against President Macron's controversial pension reform.

In response to French President Emmanuel Macron's calls for "100 days of appeasement and unity" after pushing pension reform through, the CGT union representing energy sector workers has called for "100 days of anger".

In a statement, the union promised more protest action during the month of May, with electricity disruptions to major cultural and sporting events.

"In May, do what you like! The Cannes Film Festival, the Monaco Grand Prix, the Roland-Garros tournament, the Avignon Festival could be in the dark! We won't give up!" the union wrote in their statement.

French unions have cut the power during strikes before. Last week, the CGT union targeted several locations that the president visited. Energy workers cut the power to Montpellier airport and a local school that Macron visited in protest, accusing the government of “anti-democratic methods”.

Speaking to French news channel BFMTV on Monday, Fabrice Coudour, the secretary general of the CGT Energy Union, confirmed the plans to disrupt public events.

“We’re showing that we’re not turning the page. We’re still angry and we want to express it where it’s possible, particularly in public events,” he said.

“Our aim isn’t to stop (the events) going ahead but rather to have a platform and make ourselves heard locally and by elected politicians. We don’t doubt that even at the Cannes Film Festival or elsewhere there are personalities who share our point of view,” he added.

He's not wrong. On the Croisette, unions could have the support of prominent members of the French entertainment industry. Last month, stars including Juliette Binoche, Camille Cottin and Michel Hazanavicius were among 300 figures who signed an open letter addressed to Macron demanding the withdrawal of the retirement bill.

The Cannes Film Festival, whose 76th edition is set to run from 16 – 27 May, has not yet responded to the threat and it remains to be seen how the unions will carry out their protests during the festival or is Cannes can keep the lights on by handing out torches.

Share this articleComments

You might also like