Extra year’s pay to prevent ‘exodus’ from Belgian nuclear plants
French-Belgian electricity provider, Engie Electrabel, has presented a retention plan to its more than 2 000 employees of the Belgian nuclear plants in Doel and Tihange. The company fears the departure of its staff before the planned closure of the two plants and is, therefore, prepared to offer them a premium and guarantees for their job security. Thierry Saegeman, CEO of Engie Electrabel, presented the retention plan on Tuesday during an exceptional works council.
The announcements of the imminent closure of the two nuclear plants had given rise to concern among Engie Electrabel’s staff. “Still, we will need all our employees to guarantee nuclear safety,” Thierry Saegeman wrote in an internal letter, financial newspaper De Tijd could lay hands on.
The electricity provider wants to reassure its workforce and is committed to offering all 2 000 employees job security even after the final closure of the plants, until 2027. For half of all employees, who will be 45 or older by the end of this year, this commitment is valid until the end of their careers.
Those who want to leave the company but are willing to remain until 2026 can count on a premium, equivalent to one year’s annual pay. On top of that, Engie Electrabel allocates 18 million euros for staff training. The only thing Saegeman stipulates as a condition is that the government confirms the full and final phasing-out by the end of 2025.
Politicians are still discussing
It is clear that Engie Electrabel intends to close the nuclear power plants in Doel and Tihange, although politicians still are discussing the matter. Minister of Energy, Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen), pleads for a complete nuclear phase-out, although Georges-Louis Bouchez (MR) would like to prolong the life span of the youngest nuclear reactors.