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.