#stuc19 Congress gave UNISON’s Willie Docherty overwhelming support as he called for unequivocal condemnation of the job losses at Scottish Gas and for full backing for members and negotiators in UNISON Gas Branch Scotland.
Moving an emergency motion, he noted that the negotiators have worked successfully to avoid compulsory redundancies and to deliver protections for members in difficult circumstances.
Willie told delegates about the company’s planned closure of its City Park call centre site in Glasgow, where around 400 workers are based and advised that the Branch.
“This is obviously devastating news and will hit affected families hard”
Willie slammed the obscene pay rise announced for Centrica chief executive, “Yet the sensitive souls running Centrica thought it was perfectly OK, within days of the announcement, to reveal that Iain Conn is getting an astonishing 44 per cent pay increase.”
Willie pointed out that the chief executive’s massive £2.4 million pounds package is 109 times the pay of the average UNISON worker in British Gas.
“What an absolute kick in the teeth for hard working employees facing the closures of the Glasgow site, and another in Leeds, with the loss of around 500 jobs all together.”
“Congress, I know you would condemn such excess at any time, but this is when workers across the company are being asked to make sacrifices, with years of below inflation pay increases, and in a year when 2,000 employees overall are losing their jobs. “
“How can this man think it is morally right for him to receive two bonuses of £388,000 each? Bonuses related to the size of the cuts imposed on workers in British Gas.”
“At a time when the company is struggling financially and staff face an uncertain future, the man at the top ought to decline this bonus extravaganza. “
“We are asking all shareholders to block the rise at next month’s AGM.”
Willie told Congress, about Branch Secretary Lindsay McNaught’s report to UNISON’s Scottish Council April meeting, where she highlighted the premature breaking of the news of the closure on 4 April, to be followed by an announcement later that day advising that jobs at Uddingston were guaranteed for anyone who didn’t want to take an enhanced voluntary severance package. Packages would also be offered to Uddingston staff to free up positions for folk who want transfer from Glasgow.
He told us that Lindsay and the branch are on site meeting with members, and holding drop ins to make sure they deliver what members want in the circumstances they are facing. Willie noted that more than 80% of gas call centre union membership is in UNISON.
Willie said, “No-one wants any jobs to go, but as unions, we work together in standing up for members. This motion correctly calls for support for affected workers in any action they deem necessary to protect jobs, direct labour and to avoid compulsory redundancy.”