GMB Seek Meeting With National Grid To Raise Concerns Over Announcement Of Sale Of Its Regional Gas Distribution Networks
Members will be very worried about potential job losses and threats to terms and conditions of employment when the sale goes ahead says GMB.
GMB, the union for gas and energy workers, commented on National Grid announcement that it plans to sell of its regional gas distribution networks which connect customers in the West Midlands, Eastern England, North West and parts of London. The sale does not include long-distance, high-pressure transmission pipelines. See notes to editors for copy of report on the BBC website dated 10th November 2015.
Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for energy, said "GMB had no prior warning of this announcement and it will come as a nasty surprise to the National Grid workforce in the gas networks.
Members will be very worried about potential job losses and threats to terms and conditions of employment when the sale goes ahead.
The sale also raises serious strategic concerns about the continuing fragmentation of UK energy delivery and probable foreign ownership with ever increasing risks to system safety. For all these reasons I'm asking for an urgent meeting with National Grids chief executive Steven Holliday to raise these concerns with him and get some answers."
Contact: Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary on 07860 606137 or GMB Press Office on 07921 289880 or 07974 251823.
Notes to editors
Copy of report on BBC website dated 10th November 2015.
National Grid to sell stake in gas unit
UK power operator National Grid plans to sell a majority stake in its gas distribution business.
The company said it wanted to "realise the value it has created in the networks" and would return the money to shareholders.
National Grid's gas business owns 82,000 miles of pipeline, and delivers gas to about 11 million domestic, industrial and commercial customers.
The company reported a 15% rise in half-year pre-tax profit to £1.348bn.
Asked about the fears of power supply shortages this winter, Steve Holliday, National Grid's chief executive, told the BBC's Today programme that the winter would be "tight but manageable" under normal circumstances.
He added that the extra measures that National Grid had taken to deal with the tightness of supply were the cheapest way, at a cost of 50p per household, to balance supply and demand.
Last week, it was forced to ask the power industry to generate more electricity, as well as request that heavy users switch to back-up supplies, as a result of multiple energy plant breakdowns. That was the first such request since 2012.
In July, it warned that this winter would see the tightest supply margin for power since 2009.
The sale of the gas pipelines is expected by early 2016.
"The UK gas distribution business has been an important part of National Grid and the sale of a majority stake will realise some of the value we have created for our shareholders," Mr Holliday said.
The Sunday Times has previously reported that the business could be worth £10bn.