News ID: 114322
Publish Date : 25 April 2023 - 22:36

Union Threatens to Cut Off Electricity to Cannes Festival

PARIS (Guardian) -- France’s electricity workers are threatening to pull the plug at the Cannes film festival as part of ongoing protests over pension changes.
Members of the National Federation of Mines and Energy – a branch of the powerful CGT union – have announced “100 days of action and anger” that is expected to hit the movie industry’s annual event as well as other sports and cultural meetings.
The announcement was made last week following the pledge by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, of a 100-day action plan to improve the daily lives of his compatriots after three months of demonstrations over his new law raising the official retirement age to 64.
“Macron promised 100 days to appease, we promise him 100 days of action and anger! This is no time for resignation,” the union wrote in a statement.
“In May, do whatever you like! The Cannes film festival, the Monaco Grand Prix, the French Open, the Avignon festival could be in the dark. We won’t give up!”
The power cut threat came after a general meeting of the federation on Friday.
Fabrice Coudour, the CGT Energy union’s secretary general, said the goal was not to “prevent events happening” but to have a platform for protests.
“We want to show that we’re not turning the page and the anger is still present and we want to express it wherever we can. We want to be heard, in the media and locally … even the Cannes film festival. There are celebrities who share our point of view,” Coudour told BFM TV.
Last week, angry energy workers cut the power to Montpellier airport and a local school that Macron visited in protest, accusing the government of “anti-democratic methods”.
The organizers of the 76th Cannes film festival, which takes place between May 16 and 27, have not commented on the disruption threat.
Last month a number of French stars including Juliette Binoche, Laure Calamy, Jonathan Cohen, Michel Hazanavicius and Camille Cottin were among 300 high-profile signatories of an open letter to Macron protesting at the way the bill was passed and demanding he withdraw the legislation.
The letter also urged Macron to stop “fragmenting” French society, adding there were more pressing issues to be addressed.