GMB Warns MSPs To ‘Stop Playing Fast And Loose’ With Energy Sector Employment Ahead Of Parliamentary Debate
GMB has criticised the Scottish Government’s Just Transition Commission (JTC) as ‘a good intentions committee’ and warned MSPs against ‘playing fast and loose’ with the livelihoods of workers across our energy sector.
The call comes ahead of a Scottish Government debate, ‘Securing a Just Transition to a Carbon - neutral Economy’, which will take place at the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (Tuesday 15 January).
The debate takes place a week after a cross-party group of MSPs were lobbied for the immediate closure of the Hunterston B nuclear power station which supports 800 jobs in North Ayrshire, with workers and their trade unions excluded from the briefing.
GMB Scotland Organiser Gary Cook said: “Energy workers are vital to the Scottish economy and their hard-fought terms and conditions mean they are one of the increasingly few examples today of working-class prosperity.
“But politicians driving the ‘just transition’ are playing fast and loose with their livelihoods. They call for the mothball of vital industries like oil and gas and nuclear, yet can’t muster the political courage to talk directly with these workers.
“It’s an agenda mired in hypocrisy. Our political elite are full of self-praise for their climate change ambitions but we ship US shale up the Forth, pipe Russian gas from Europe and very soon will benefit from electricity generated by new nuclear from Hinkley Point C.
“Meanwhile, a decade after we were promised ‘the Saudi Arabia of Renewables’, we are still fighting for scraps of work from our offshore windfarm projects to lift BiFab off its knees, while the bulk of the jobs and prosperity go to Europe, the UAE and the Far East.
“Bluntly, the JTC is a good intentions committee but ignores the very real energy needs of Scotland now and in the future along with the views of the workers who are powering our economy, keeping the lights on and homes warm.”
Contact: Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.
Notes to Editors:
The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) briefing for MSPs on ‘Safety issues with Hunterston B and ways to protect local jobs for the short, medium and long-term’, sponsored by Ross Greer MSP took place in Committee Room 4, Scottish Parliament, on Wednesday January 9 2019.