Row between unions and EDF over Hinkley delay ramps up

Jessica Morris
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Jean-Bernard Levy has found himself at the center of a row with unions (Source: Getty)

French unions have said that the EDF's approval of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant isn’t valid, dealing another blow to the firm in their battle over the project's affordability.

They said all of the French utility giant’s board members should have been made aware of the UK government’s intention to delay its decision on Hinkley, after it emerged EDF chairman Jean-Bernard Levy may have had prior knowledge of this.

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In a joint statement released today, three of EDF's top unions — CGT, CFE-CGC and FO — said that board approval for Hinkley was invalid on the basis of incomplete information.

"Our three unions denounce this information asymmetry. They therefore consider that the board's Hinkley Point decision, taken on the basis of incomplete information, is null and void," they said.

EDF’s board approved the controversial project last month, despite French union opposition to it due to concerns over its affordability. Prime Minister Theresa May then unexpectedly pushed back the UK government’s decision on the project.

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Levy has threatened to sue the Sud Energie union over accusations he had prior knowledge that the UK government want to delay its decision on Hinkley.

EDF has said Levy was only aware of a delay to the signing ceremony, which was due to take place a day after the vote. Because this event wasn't previously confirmed, there was no need to communicate it to the board or the market, they argue.