Electrician faces sack for not cutting off the poor

French energy company ErDF is considering firing a technician because he refused to cut the power in poor households.

Jef Duval, a technician working for ErDF, a French energy company, says “he just couldn’t do it”. The 23-year-old worker refused cut the power off for a family who had not paid their bills.

“When this person opened the door, she had two children in her arms, three others sitting on the floor,” says Duval in an interview with France Info, “I just couldn’t cut the electricity, I couldn’t do it.”

Duval should have reduced the electricity supply of the household to 1,000 watts for two weeks before cutting the power.

Duval now faces disciplinary action for refusing to do his job, Metro France reports. In February, an internal discipline board voted to dismiss the technician. An ErDF spokesperson however told AFP no decision has been made.

According to French channel France 24, Duval refused to cut the electricity supply for a dozen households who did not pay their bills in 2011.

The CGT trade union says ErDF management is using Duval to warn other technicians against being compassionate and has launched an online petition against his dismissal.


French ‘have more sex while working from home’, poll claims

For most people working from home means rarely changing out of PJs and spending a lot of time on zoom calls - but respondents to one French poll said for them it's an opportunity to have more sex.

French 'have more sex while working from home', poll claims
A change from the classic work-from-home outfit of pyjamas. Photo: AFP

A poll conducted by Ifop for extra-marital dating site Gleeden reported one third of respondents (34 percent) saying they had had sex during working hours while on télétravail (home working) and one third of people said they had more desire for their partner since the second lockdown in October.

In total 18 percent of people said they are having more sex now than they did before the pandemic.

“I've got into the habit, since I've been working at home, of taking a little nap in the middle of the day,” web designer Tomas told Le Parsien, “and my girlfriend often joins me”.

“Sometimes we even warm up beforehand with very explicit messages. In the end, it doesn't take us long, we are very relaxed afterwards and just as efficient when we get back behind our screens to work. Frankly, it's better than a cigarette break in the cold outside the office.”
The trend was particularly marked among couples with children, when working hours have become time spent together at home without the children around.
“Unlike in the spring, the children are at school and without our travel time, our days are longer,” said Sophie, a civil servant based in Strasbourg, who works two days a week at home with her husband.
However, some of the participants told pollsters that lockdown and working from home had lead to a drop in morale and libido, while others said being with their partners all day dampened their desire.
The French government still recommends télétravail for those who can, but in January released an updated protocol adding extra days in office for those who wanted them, recognising the impact of loneliness and isolation on many home-workers.
The poll – entitled The sexual and emotional life of the French during the second lockdown – was carried out on 2,017 over-18s between November 24th and 30th.