Unite demands: No Ban Without a Plan. Call for change in Labour policy to save North Sea jobs

Labour’s current policy on Net Zero for the North Sea risks leaving workers on the scrap heap, Unite has warned. NOTE: The views expressed here are not necessarily endorsed by Glasgow World

Unite General Secretary, Sharon Graham says a ban all new licences for new exploration and renewal of current projects is “premature and irresponsible”.

She said it could lead to far more imports while there are supplies off-shore. At the same time there needs to be a plan for renewables, according to Graham who said nothing laid out for wind power manufacture to create much-needed “green” jobs for the just transition away from fossil fuels.

A petition from Unite demands Labour makes an urgent u-turn. You can sign it here.

Graham said Labour has to ditch its “irresponsible policy”.  She added: “Our message to Labour is hands off the North Sea until they have a concrete plan.

“The future of North Sea jobs and energy security need a workable plan and there currently isn’t one. It would foolhardy to ditch something before an alternative has been mapped out – to do so would risk thousands of jobs which Unite will not stand by and allow to happen.”

Hands off the North Sea

There are a list of recommendations for Labour from Unite. Here, Graham explains them:

Creation of 35,000 new jobs as part of the transition in Scotland by 2030

Permanent local jobs in renewables are vital. Sectors like wind power manufacturing and operations, hydrogen, carbon capture and decommissioning need an investment of an additional £1.1 billion per year. It will pay for itself and is a small amount when compared to the £36 billion in the profits oil companies made from the North Sea last year.

Don’t leave workers on the scrap heap

The pay, pensions and other conditions that North Sea workers currently have must be replicated, or improved with new, good union jobs. High-class training will also be needed if the transition is going to work for all.

Energy security needs strengthening

A self-sufficient energy system, with 75 per cent local content of energy should be our aim. Improved public sector purchasing power would help workers and communities in Scotland, putting an end to profiteering by global companies which creates chaos and pushes up bills.

Graham added: “Labour needs to changetack when it comes to the North Sea. No ban without a plan.”

To find out more about Unite’s work in the North Sea sector click here.