Strike after dismissals for fraud with energy contracts at Engie Belgium
Trade unions at Engie (the biggest supplier of electricity and gas in Belgium) protested on Wednesday morning in front of the company's headquarters. Engie dismissed 15 employees for making up contracts for energy supply against fixed prices for their own.
Before the energy crisis broke out, Belgian consumers could choose between a contract with fixed or one with variabele prices, for their electricity and gas. Once prices started to explode, all energy companies stopped offering fixed prices in new contracts. Only variable prices were possible from then on.
The 15 employees worked in the sales- and clients departments. They wrote out contracts with fixed prices for themselves and their colleagues. To make it even more advantageous, the fixed prices were retroactive.
Trade unions say the employees did make 'mistakes', but that this is also due to confusion and unclear guidelines from the company. They say there are many exceptions to the rule of variable pricing. The company denies this. Only a few employees made the 'mistake', proving most people understood the rules.
In recent weeks, there have been some talks between the management and the trade unions, but no compromise was found. Trade unions say strikes will be organised if the dismissals are not replaced by 'proportionate sanctions'.
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