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National Grid Sell Off 'Welcome'

Thursday, December 8, 2016

 

Union pleased with end to uncertainty but warns against selling 130,000km of vital pipeline to ‘highest foreign bidder’.

GMB, the energy union, has welcomed the National Grid sell off – but sounded a sombre note of caution.

A MacQuarie Infrastructure led Consortium today announced they had bought a 61 per cent stake in National Grid gas distribution business for around £13.8million. [1]

A total of 5,700 employees are involved in the in scope of sale, while 130,000km of pipes are being transferred.

The move brings to an end months of uncertainty endured by GMB members sever since the business was put up for sale earlier this year.

However GMB remains concerned over the foreign ownership of a vital piece of national infrastructure.

Stuart Fegan GMB National Officer said:

"GMB looks forward to meeting with the new owners of National Grid's gas distribution business to set out the priorities of our members who have been instrumental in the success of the business to date.

“Staffing levels, succession planning, a directly employed workforce, terms and conditions, as well as pay and reward are the priorities for our membership going forward.

“However the Government must be mindful infrastructure crown jewels like this are more than just a cash cow to be flogged the highest foreign bidder – they are paramount to Britain’s industry and security.”

Earlier GMB called on Theresa May to put the sale on hold until proper safeguards were in place.

The Prime Minister delayed the go ahead for the recent Hinkley Point C deal while the Enterprise Act underwent a review.

GMB strongly cautions the funding of new developments must be separate from regulation and design of industry.

Chinese pop-up power stations are not a solution to our energy problems.

ENDS

Notes:

Contact: Stuart Fagen on 07912890434 or at stuart.fagen@gmb.org.uk

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/08/national-grid-stake-gas-macquarie-bank

Previous press releases:

http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/halt-national-grid-sale

http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/government-go-ahead-for-hinkley

http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/hinkey-post-brexit-litmus-test

http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/government-hinkley-delay

 

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