23 April 2014
Unite, the country’s largest union, said the two days of strike action will mean that there will be delays in fixing and installing meters for customers. Revenue protection will also be hit – as the workers going on strike include those dealing with business owners and private customers who are allegedly fiddling and stealing electricity.
And it warned that further action could be on the cards, unless the highly profitable EDF Energy’s management sit down and negotiate in a constructive and equable fashion.
A total of 486 employees, members of Unite, were balloted in the London, South Eastern, South West and Eastern regions. They voted by the large margin of 77 percent to take strike action and by 88 per cent for industrial action short of a strike.
The dispute has three elements:
• 2013 pay offer of two per cent and a non-consolidated, one off payment of £200 for the year April 2013 to April 2014
• South Eastern pay. This was due to be resolved in the 2012 agreement. The employers agreed to look at the pay difference between this group and London colleagues – but have not done so
• Eastern revenue protection team. Having signed the 2012 agreement, EDF then said that it could not afford to pay it to this group of workers.
Unite regional officer Kasab Onay said: “The adverse impact of two days of strike action on 6 and 8 May will be significant in terms of installing meters for customers and in relation to revenue protection.
“Unless the management of this highly profitable company sits down and engages in constructive talks, more industrial action is on the cards.
“The two per cent pay offer fails to take account of the true cost of living. The argument is really quite simple. Those who make handsome profits for the company, our members, have a right to expect a pay rise that at least keeps up with the cost of living.
“EDF Energy should be ashamed in regards to the Eastern revenue protection team because it signed an agreement with no intention of abiding by it.”
The EDF centres that will be affected by the strikes are at: Heath House, 255 Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent, BA6 8ET; Bangor Wharf, Georgiana Street, London, NW1 0QS; Atlantic House, Henson Road, Three Bridges, Crawley, RH10 1QQ; Unit 7, Anglo Office Park, Clarence Road, Speedwell, Bristol, BS15 1NT; Osprey House, Osprey Road, Exeter, EX2 7WN; Gadeon House, Grenadier Road, Exeter Business Park, Exeter, EX1 3UT; and 334 Outland Road, Plymouth, PL3 5TU.