How far will they really go? For the past few days, the CGT has been publicizing the actions of its “Robin Hoods of Energy”, technicians thus nicknamed for their illegal interventions to protest against the pension reform. On February 2, the union listed in a press release “dozens of public interest establishments (hospitals, nurseries, high schools, colleges, etc.) and thousands of users and professionals placed in free gas or electricity, hundreds of small businesses or VSEs placed in reduced price »And “hundreds of users who have been restored after fraudulent cuts and this period of cold”.
The “Robins des bois” operations, explains Fabrice Caudour, federal secretary at the FNME-CGT, are not new: they were born with the change of status of EDF in 2004 (became a public limited company). “They haven’t stopped since, without necessarily making any media noise. For example, we regularly intervene on illegal cuts, because they were made during the winter break. This fall, we spent 10,000 users on free gas and very few talked about it. » But it was in the context of the mobilization against the pension reform that these actions suddenly became visible again. “The cuts targeted at the offices of deputies (targeted for their support for the reform, editor’s note) caused a reaction, and gave us visibility”.
The sequel after the ad
EDF: secret history of a rout
The CGT has every interest in communicating on “Robin Hood” actions, necessarily more popular than refinery blockages. “We want to show that we are fighting for the general interest, to convey the message that gas electricians have mastered their tool, and that we can intensify the balance of power”, confirms Fabrice Caudour. But paradoxically, the CGT cannot give details of specific places, nor figures to illustrate the reality of its actions. Because these are “illegal”, as the Minister of Energy Agnès Pannier-Runacher recently recalled, and because when they are spotted, they are immediately thwarted by the distributor Enedis. With Linky-type smart meters – 92% of the Enedis fleet, the main electricity distributor in France – interventions can indeed be done remotely and “Enedis can restore everything very easily”explains the secretary general of the CGT. “This is also the reason why we must remain very discreet, for example when we pass reduced rates, that is to say from peak hours to off-peak hours. On large consumers such as hospitals, we cannot act remotely. A technician must do this on site. If he is caught in the act, it is risky for him. So we always act with great discretion, when there is no camera, witness, traceability. »
“We’re not going to stop there”
The CGT not wanting / not being able to give more details, we contacted the distributor Enedis, who explained to us that he could not assess the real extent of these interventions. “We can only tell you that when we spot them, we act immediately, sending a technician”. We are quoted as an example the cut on the permanent sector of the deputy Huguette Tiegna in Figeac, who lodged a complaint. But also cuts to the town hall of Pau, public buildings in Chaumont and Massy, or even an industrial zone in Montauban. Cuts can be identified more than passages at reduced fares, the extent of which will only be visible in fine when the bills arrive “, we are also told.
Pensions: a highly contested reform
The CGT speaks for itself in its press releases “symbolic”. “It would be selling dreams to say ‘We’re going to put everyone on free or at a reduced rate””recognizes Fabrice Caudour, who nevertheless adds: “We are not going to stop there. We have the right to strike, we could stop lighting and heating, but there is no question of attacking people’s integrity. On the other hand, one can attack buildings embodying the government. »