The government can no longer stand idly by and watch as the UK’s energy sector implodes, says UNISON, as it reacts to the news that 1,700 jobs are to go at energy giant Ovo.
Gillian Bannatyne UNISON Scotland energy lead negotiator said: “This is dreadful news and a very stressful time for the Ovo workforce. It is, so far, a proposal and not a final decision and UNISON is doing everything we can to reduce the job losses and support our members.
UNISON have made it abundantly clear that changes in how people get and use energy – as we try to cut carbon emissions – should be an opportunity to create jobs not cut them. Companies like Ovo should be looking to invest, reorganise and expand.
UNISON continues to support staff, and we are still in discussions with Ovo to get the best possible terms for our members.”
UNISON head of energy Matt Lay said: “Hard-working staff across the company will be devastated as they anxiously await their fate. Closing offices will hit local economies hard too.
“Staff have been dealt a cruel blow. Instead of worrying about star jumps, porridge and cat cuddles, Ovo bosses should have been spending time on the issues that matter. Axing so many public-facing roles will have a huge impact on customers.
“Unions will be pushing managers to hold on to staff and retrain them. Those in at-risk roles must become part of the huge energy-efficiency drive that’s necessary if net-zero commitments are to be met.
“But the government isn’t without blame. Its hands-off approach to energy regulation has been disastrous. Ministers need to roll up their sleeves and get involved before the UK’s entire energy sector goes under.”
Notes to editors:
-UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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