EDF Energy staff in London, southern and western England will be taking part in a 24-hour stoppage next Wednesday (2 September) following a breakdown in talks over proposals which could see some staff lose up to £6,000-a-year in income.
Nearly 500 members of Unite, the country’s largest union, including meter readers and fixers, office staff and managers will be walking out hitting the roll-out of a Smart meter installation programme.
The move follows the suspension of two 24-hour stoppages earlier in August to allow for talks over proposed pay cuts, job losses and extended working hours to install the meters.
Commenting Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We entered talks hopeful that we could avoid industrial action and are deeply disappointed by the company’s refusal to give concrete assurances on protecting current pay, conditions and hours.
“Our members cannot stand by and let previous agreements be torn up and their pay, terms and conditions eroded. Some members of staff face a £6,000-a-year drop in income while others face losing their job.
“Management need to stop dodging our members’ concerns and engage properly in meaningful talks.”
Unite members had voted by a margin of 85 per cent for strike action and 92 per cent were in favour of industrial action short of a strike.
The dispute centres on a list of issues including:
Extended working hours to install Smart meters, but withdrawing the London allowance which could mean a pay cut of up to £6,000
No pay awards for staff on personal contracts, despite saying performance pay should be awarded if targets are met
Job losses caused by managers applying for their own jobs and if rejected, facing potential unemployment.
The EDF Energy sites that would have been affected by strike action are:
Broadway, Bexley Heath, Kent, DA6 8ET; Georgiana Street, London NW1 0QS; Three Bridges, Crawley RH10 1QQ; Speedwell, Bristol BS15 1NT; Osprey Road, Exeter EX2 7WN; Exeter Business Park, Exeter EX1 3UT; Outland Road, Plymouth PL3 5TU; Portland Road, Hove, East Sussex BN3 5S; and Canning Town, London E16 4TL.
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869 or Unite regional officer Onay Kasab on 07771 818637.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.