The leader of the UK's main manufacturing and energy union, Unite, has today (Sunday) called upon the prime minister to 'get a grip and bang heads together' to avert job or wage losses as a result of the energy costs crisis.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham is urging industry chiefs and government ministers to work with the unions now to ensure no jobs are lost or attacked a wave of instability sweeps through UK manufacturing and energy.

Sharon Graham said: "The country is now in the ridiculous position of contemplating factory shutdowns across viable manufacturing and businesses because we now have unsustainable energy costs to add into the storm caused by supply chain shortages.

"Unite's members must not pay for this crisis - which is absolutely not of their making - with insecurity and attacks on jobs and pay.  Workers and their families are worried sick about their jobs and incomes as we go into winter.  This is not on.

"I call upon the prime minister to get and grip on this crisis and bang heads together.  The standoff between ministers and industry is irresponsible and threatens jobs and our recovery.

"It is clear that UK industry's short-termism is coming home to roost with problems across manufacturing and energy.  These are sectors that provide 800,000 direct, skilled jobs and hundreds of thousands more in related industries.  They should be at the heart of powering our economic recovery, not talking about turning the lights out.

“Our energy sector is in crisis; suppliers are going bust and homeowners are facing massive price hikes. Added to this, the failure to guarantee the UK’s energy security and to properly plan for and invest in the future threatens thousands of jobs for construction in our ‘new nuclear’ sector.

"We are at a crossroads now and the only responsible way to respond to the problems before us is collectively.  Both business and the industries have to sit down with Unite and our sister manufacturing and energy unions to develop a plan to get through these coming weeks and months - and to use this moment to ensure we are never again in this position.  

"The chronic instability in our industry caused by years of under investment, short-term and poor decisions and hands-off government has to be addressed once and for all."


For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067 or Pauline Doyle on 07976 832 862

Email: [email protected] OR [email protected]

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Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.