One thing is certain: they will have been warned. For thirteen years, the closure of the Fessenheim nuclear power plant has been anticipated, announced, postponed, haggled, playing with the nerves of 750 employees, 300 service providers, and the entire local economic ecosystem. When the final announcement was made, in November 2017, the first departures were announced for 2019. But the phasing of the shutdown of the reactors – last February and this Tuesday June 30 at 2 am – and the dismantling, until ‘in 2040 at least, was going to spread out over time the downsizing too. 120 departures in 2019, 150 in 2020, 100 in 2021…
« Until the end of the fuel evacuation, at the end of 2023, we will never go below 294 people in order to ensure on-call duties “, Says Anne Laszlo, union delegate CFE-CGC. From 2025, only sixty EDF agents are planned. At that time the providers will be a hundred, and then exceed them in number. ” We work on the skills we will need semester by semester “, Says EDF. The first parties were those preparing for maintenance operations, and the last will be supervisory positions for demolition companies.
Tailor-made course contracts
For 150 agents, it is time for retirement, early retirement, a resignation after having found a job elsewhere on their own, or a business creation. But no dismissals. By the end of 2020, all agents will have signed a tripartite “journey contract”, with the power plant and another EDF site: most of the time another nuclear power plant, but also hydro power plants, or even the property service or a lock. ” It is tailor-made, especially since EDF has a culture of dialogue. We don’t force people’s hands “, We explain at EDF, which has accepted as much as possible the departure of employees on the date that suited them (end of a child’s college years, transfer of a spouse, etc.).
Union side, we confirm. “ I regret that certain aspirations for the evolution towards management functions have not always been heard. But overall, the company is large and varied enough to make it easy enough to be relocated, especially since they have high levels of qualification. And they know that even if they are wrong, we will not fire them, and we will continue to look for something else Supports Jean-Luc Cardoso, CGT delegate. In some cases, immersion periods are even organized to take the pulse of another profession or another site. Those who are not yet fixed on their lot are often the least mobile geographically. ” Some will remain at the central, even if it is in overstaffing or whether to train them in other trades. For others, HR is trying to convince Alsatian sites “, says Anne Laszlo.
To support employees, in addition to the human resources department, six agents, usually in managerial positions, have trained to become “mobility advisers”. ” There has been a strong demand not to use an outside firm. Fessenheim agents, who refuse to meet with elected officials or grant interviews, preferred to stay between them Explains Anne Laszlo. According to her, the political nature of the decision to close the plant, while it was very profitable, helped to unite the teams, beyond the hierarchical levels.
A more nuanced future for subcontractors
Provider side, the note will obviously be more salty. Because if some like Orano, Clemessy or Forclum have the internal means to offer mobility to their employees, more local and specialized companies may not recover. One thing is certain: out of 350 employees of service providers in 2017, only 100 will remain after 2025, many of whom are new. For two years, psychological and social support, in terms of training and retraining, has been offered to them by the Groupement des Industriels de Maintenance de l’Est, which brings together EDF’s service providers, and the firm Altedia.
→ ANALYSIS. Fessenheim, the time of dismantling
From time to time, the central office gives help. Like these works “Not absolutely necessary” who continue to be ordered from them, or these few hires, often a few years from retirement. Killing two birds with one stone: keeping very good connoisseurs of the plant, and allowing agents to leave Fessenheim when they wanted.