Energy unions call for talks on just transition

UNISON, Unite, GMB and Prospect call for meeting with energy secretary after releasing template for a just transition to a low-carbon economy

Energy unions are calling for talks with the government this year to help workers and communities adapt to the low-carbon economy needed to deal with global warming.

The four unions – UNISON, Unite, GMB and Prospect – represent 200,000 workers in the sector and launched a template for a “just transition” to low carbon over the Christmas holidays.

Now they want to hold discussions with business, energy and industrial strategy secretary Greg Clark to “chart a constructive way forward in the decade ahead”.

The template grew out of a conference of energy workers from all four unions, hosted and organised by UNISON in September.

Conference report: Protecting jobs, saving the planet (01 October 2018)

The unions’ template features four key demands:

  • a balanced low carbon energy mix;
  • investment in skills and infrastructure;
  • protecting and creating high quality jobs and employment;
  • making sure no community is left behind.

“Ten years on from the Climate Change Act, the UK still does not have a plan that puts workers, future skills and affected communities at the heart of energy policy,” the unions said in a statement as they launched the plan.

“The move to a low carbon economy could threaten the jobs and livelihoods of workers in the energy sector,” noted UNISON national officer Matt Lay.

“But with a just transition, they won’t simply be abandoned. With proper investment and training, both they and their communities can share in the benefits of a sustainable future.”

Download Demanding a Just Transition for Energy Workers from the Unite website

Energy workers in UNISON

UNISON policy: Climate Change and a Just Transition (adopted at 2017 national delegate conference)