In light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, several trade unions associated with Engie SA are urging the French government to vote against the utility's plan to pay out a 2019 dividend of 80 euro cents, Reuters reported March 25.
In a letter to France's economy and finance ministry, the groups call on economy minister Bruno Le Maire to enable Engie to retain cash and assist in the rebooting of the country's economy once the COVID-19 threat tapers off.
Le Maire has urged large corporations to review their dividend policies in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
State-owned companies in particular should set an example by doing so, Reuters reported, citing the letter. The French government is a 23.6% stakeholder in Engie, whose shareholders are expected to vote on dividend on May 14.
The unions want the company's dividend to be capped at around 50% of its net income in the future, Reuters said.
Signatories to the letter are Confédération générale du travail, Force Ouvrière, Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail, Confédération Française des Travailleurs Chrétiens and Confédération Française de l'Encadrement - Confédération Générale des Cadres.