Two hundred Nigerian employees of the Aïr Mine Company (SOMAÏR), the Nigerian branch of the French nuclear group Areva, have just been dismissed "for economic reasons", as have 500 other subcontractors.
Areva, which has been operating for more than 50 years through its subsidiaries SOMAÏR and COMINAK, the uranium deposits of Arlit (far north), has implemented its plan of departure announced last October to cope with market difficulties .
These measures are part of a plan launched by Areva's two subsidiaries in Niger to cope with the situation created by the decline in uranium prices on international markets in recent years, have justified its leaders.
According to group CEO Philippe Knoche, "the context of the uranium market is now very degraded, with prices falling by almost 50%".
If the departure of the 200 agents is obtained following negotiations that resulted in a memorandum of understanding, the 500 subcontractors are, on the other hand, dismissed directly, without accompanying measures, according to the Secretary General of the Trade Union Section. workers of SOMAIR mines, Ibro Illado.
This wave of dismissals began with the signing in May 2014 in Niamey of a new contract for the exploitation of Nigerian uranium between the Nigerian authorities and the general management of Areva.
As a reminder, in 2015 already, near 200 agents of another Nigerian subsidiary of Areva, Immouraren, and about 1.180 employees of about twenty companies of subcontracting with its various subsidiaries, had been dismissed "for economic reasons, "according to the mining union.