The UK’s energy market arrangements, particularly for intensive users of energy, are undermining the sustainability of the UK’s chemical industry. Unite agrees with the UK Government that energy policy has to be framed within the context of a sustainable framework and the threat posed by climate change. However, large-scale users of gas are paying more than their European competitors. We are concerned that the current energy prices will displace manufacturing in the UK and are actively lobbying the Government on the issue. The key issue for Unite and its members in the chemical industry is the relative competitiveness of energy prices compared both to European and global markets.
The European Union has adopted a new system to control the risks which chemicals may pose to human health and the environment. The REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restrictions of Chemicals) came into force on 1 June 2007. It forms the EU’s framework legislation for the management, control and use of chemicals, replacing much of the current patchwork of over 40 separate pieces of legislation over a phase-in period. Click here for more details.
Final salary pension schemes continue to come under pressure, with companies increasingly keen to amend schemes and close schemes to new starters. Unite will continue to support members in the fight to maintain good pension arrangements within the sector.
Links to other unions/organisations
United Steelworkers (USW) – Unite is still forging links with our sister union with regards to chemical , tyre industry and refineries.
Industriall – We continue to work with our European and Global Federations to promote social dialogue.
Chemical Industries Association (CIA) – We continue to have dialogue with the CIA along with our sister unions GMB and USDAW to discuss all aspects within the Chemical sector.