Around 9000 employees of British Gas were due to begin a five-day strike from 7 January in protest at the company’s decision to fire all workers and rehire them on worse pay and conditions. British Gas’s parent company Centrica claimed the measures are necessary in response to the impact of the pandemic. However, the GMB trade union, representing engineers and call-centre staff argue that the initiative is excessive particularly in view of the company’s latest reported operating profits. 89% of the union’s members in the company voted for the strike action.
Public services union ver.di reports on a new agreement covering 6000 workers employed by energy companies in the Hesse region in central Germany. The union says that the employers were aiming for an agreement below that negotiated in the public sector but the union resisted this and negotiated a 2.6% pay increase which will be paid in two stages (2.1% in June 2021 and 0.5% in June 2022). The payment for trainees will be increased by EUR 50. In addition, there will be a Corona bonus of EUR 900 for those in pay scales 1-9 and EUR 700 for those in 10-14 while trainees will get EUR 350. The
Four energy trade union in France organised another day of action on 17 December in protest at what they see as major threats to the sector, such as the “Hercule” restructuring plans at EDF, and its public service mission. FNME-CGT, CFE-CGC Énergies, FO Énergie et Mines and FCE-CFDT are concerned that key decisions about the sector are being taken without proper consultation both with the unions and in parliament. Meanwhile, the Filctem-Cgil, Flaei-Cisl and Uiltec energy unions in Italy achieved a significant victory in the ENEL company following a campaign of industrial action. The unions
On November 26, workers in the French multinational electric utility companies ENGIE and EDF are mobilising to defend the future of their jobs, the public energy sector and to demand the suspension of the companies’ current restructuring projects.
On 26 November, unions in the multinational energy companies ENGIE and EDF mobilised to defend jobs and the public energy sector, demanding the suspension of the companies’ restructuring projects. The unions argue that, if implemented, the plans will endanger both the future of employees and the French energy sector with little consideration of the disastrous social consequences. EPSU sent a message of solidarity for the action. Joint communique (FR)
Following mediation, trade unions ELogIT and Fagforbundet have negotiated a new energy sector agreement that delivers a 5.6% pay increase on all pay rates plus a NOK 27000 (EUR 2480) increase on the minimum wage rate for occupations requiring technical/vocational training taking it to NOK 460000 (EUR 42250). The agreement includes several other improvements to working conditions relating to changing and toilet facilities (particularly for women), standards for accommodation when working away from home and compensation for extra long shifts. A framework for home work is being developed in
Earlier this month the Atomprofilska nuclear energy union began negotations with the Energoatom company. However, the industry is facing major challenges and the union is particularly concerned about the financial state of the company and the lack of support from the government. The union argues that the government has left the company effectively on the verge of bankruptcy and this is having an impact on maintaining proper health and safety. The union is looking to appeal directly to the President to take action, will organise protests in key cities, is calling for the resignation of the
Energy unions are facing challenges on several fronts. Leading gas company Centrica has faced major criticism from unions - GMB, UNISON, Unite and Prospect - when it followed up an announcement of 5000 job cuts with a plan to sack and re-hire 20000 staff on worse terms and conditions. The GMB union has already had a consultative ballot which showed 95% support for strike action and so a formal ballot will be undertaken. Meanwhile the GMB members at Northern Gas Networks have voted 98% in favour of industrial action on pay while Unite members at the Drax energy company have been balloted over
Global trade union federations have welcomed the initiative of the ENGIE energy multinational to commit to cover any hospitalisation and death-related costs arising from the COVID-19 virus for any of its 170000 employees around the world. The company is bringing forward implementation of a new CARE programme for employees that would provide help with such costs but, in the period up to 31 December 2020, is boosting this by providing full coverage of hospitalization costs related to COVID-19 and for employees temporarily without social protection providing all-cause death cover and