June 4, 2020 / 5:00 PM / 2 months ago

EDF, unions agree post-coronavirus return to work steps

FILE PHOTO: A logo of French electric company EDF is seen at an office building in La Defense business district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - EDF has agreed steps with unions to get parts of its business up and running again and will have to redouble its efforts to overcome the effects of the coronavirus crisis, CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy said in an electronic address to employees on Thursday.

Containment measures have disrupted the maintenance of power plants and reduced demand for electricity, leading EDF to abandon its financial targets for this year and next and warn that French nuclear production will settle at its lowest level in thirty years.    

“Faced with this unprecedented crisis which will weigh not only on the countries’ economic situation, but also on our business, we will have to redouble our efforts to be efficient in the coming months and years,” Jean-Bernard Lévy said, without giving further details.

The company has also agreed a framework covering seven areas including health and the return to work, a spokesperson for the group said.     

Levy stressed the need for EDF to be “at the center of the economic revival”, specifically by securing a sufficient level of electricity production next winter.

To do that it needs to resume maintenance at several power plants.

Levy said the group needed to preserve its competitive position and remain attentive to its financial balances and expenses while furthering investments.

Reporting by Benjamin Mallet; Writing by Forrest Crellin; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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