Organising in Energy as we drive towards Net Zero

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2021 Virtual Special Energy Service Group Conference
13 April 2021

This special energy conference notes that to achieve Net Zero substantial investment will be needed within the Energy sector, both with established employers with whom we have an existing relationship, and likely new (and as yet not in existence) employers too) This could and should bring about new job growth within the energy sector over the coming years.

We recognise however that employment in the traditional Energy sector has over the last few years been reducing significantly as a result of; restructuring, digitalisation, lack of investment, a fragmented market place and unfair competition, short term thinking in regulation and lack of political direction. This has impacted trade union membership numbers but not density levels.

We also need to note that many of our members have traditionally worked in large offices but since Covid have been home based. This has proven an additional challenge to our traditional ways of organising and the future for our ways of working will likely be different as a result.

In order to; maintain our position as the largest staff union in the Energy sector into the future, to also continue to protect our existing members’ rights, and to grow our membership when employment growth takes place from new investment and action on Net Zero, this motion calls on the Energy Service Group to:

1. Work with the strategic organising unit to develop new tools for recruiting and organising online and recognising that many more workers will be home based in the future, so we need to adapt.

2. Develop a range of specific UNISON flyers and posters, aimed at supporting the drive to Net Zero by 2050, for branches to use to aid recruitment and which highlight the positive role UNISON is playing in supporting energy jobs and decarbonisation efforts.

3. Support the development of a range of recruitment incentives and ideas that branches can establish and administer in their workplaces built around the campaign on climate change and share best practice.

4. Continue to lead from the front in taking a progressive approach to Net Zero developing and promoting solutions that can work and deliver while retaining the skills and employment of Energy workers and members.

5. Promote the work of the Energy Service Group within UNISON and continue to build a strong UNISON brand in the wider energy sector.