Offshoring in Energy

Back to all Motions

2006 Energy Service Group Conference
15 March 2006

Conference notes with concern the growing number of energy utilities deciding to offshore work overseas. In the last twelve months npower, British Gas and Vertex have publicly announced their offshoring plans, each leading to significant reductions in their UK workforce.

This trend is largely stimulated by the competitive pressures of the liberalised UK energy market that places price above quality and profits before jobs.

Conference welcomes the publication of UNISON’s report into offshoring as an important contribution to the debate on the impact that offshoring is likely to have on the UK’s jobs market and in particular in the energy sector. We note the job losses are likely to fall in parts of the country that already suffer from higher than average levels of unemployment.

Conference is disappointed by the response of Government to the growing trend in offshoring. It appears to regard offshoring as an unavoidable consequence of globalisation.

Therefore Conference calls on the Energy Service Group Executive to:

a)Support branches in their efforts to resist offshoring.

b)Work in liaison with other UNISON Service Groups and the NEC to develop strategies designed to combat offshoring or where necessary to protect members interests.

c)Urge all energy companies to avoid offshoring and to instead invest in the skills and knowledge of their UK workforce.

d)To liaise with the NEC to campaign to ensure that Government undertakes a full and thorough assessment of the impact of offshoring on the UK economy and puts in place measures to deal with the social consequences of offshoring to include retraining grants, relocation assistance and skills retention schemes.