EDF Energy smart meter installers across London and southern England are being balloted for strike action in a pay dispute, Unite the union said today (Thursday 30 September).

Unite said that the impact of industrial action on EDF’s customers will be to slow down meter installation which allows for climate change reductions through reduced energy consumption.

The ballot of the 282 smart meter installers and those involved in debt collection in London, the south east and south west opens tomorrow (Friday 1 October) and closes on Friday 29 October.

Unite said the management’s pay offer of 1.5 per cent, due from April this year, was ‘totally inadequate’, given that the latest RPI rate of inflation has soared to 4.8 per cent.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Our members at EDF are among those who continued working with the public during the pandemic. Now the company wants to reward those same workers with what is effectively a pay cut - the 1.5 per cent on the table is totally inadequate given the rapidly rising inflation rate.

“The RPI inflation rate is currently 4.8 per cent,, but we believe that it is set to increase further by Christmas. The employers really do need to be more imaginative – each year we get the same old tired routine, but just with different excuses as to why workers should not get a decent pay rise. The bosses always sing the same song, but just change the lyrics annually.

“The impact of strike action will be to slow down meter installation which will hinder the climate change agenda. It will also hit EDF on the bottom line as monies owed by customers will not be collected as the debt collection teams will also be taking industrial action.

“Now is the time for the management of this highly profitable energy giant to enter into constructive talks before this dispute escalates into strike action.”

Other issues at the centre of the dispute include:

  • failure to reach an agreement in relation to restructures including work on installing power points for electric vehicles;
  • failure to agree relocation compensation for staff in relation to the Bexleyheath site;
  • unilateral changes to collective agreements;
  • interference in the make-up of trade union bodies/positions.

ENDS 

Notes to editors:                                                               

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org 

Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.