No Ban Without a Plan – Unite tells Labour: “Don’t push North Sea workers off a cliff edge”

Unite believes Labour’s plan to cut licences for new exploration and renewal of current projects in the North Sea is premature and irresponsible. NOTE: The views expressed here are not necessarily endorsed by The Scotsman

Unite General Secretary, Sharon Graham says Labour’s current policy on Net Zero could lead to us importing more oil and gas from other oil and gas powers at a time when we have it on our doorstep. Secondly, there is still absolutely no Labour plan on wind power manufacture, in Scotland and the UK, or commensurate new ‘green’ jobs for North Sea workers.

The union has launched a petition demanding Labour changes its plans. You can read about it here.

Graham said: “Labour needs to pull back from this irresponsible policy.  There is clearly no viable plan for the replacement of North Sea jobs or energy security. We should not be letting go of one rope until we have hold of another. These types of transitions must have workers at the heart. Unite will not stand by and let these workers be thrown on the scrap heap. North Sea workers cannot be sacrificed on the altar of net zero.”

Unite says: “Labour - Hands off the North Sea”

Unite has written urgent recommendations for Labour. Here, Graham explains them:

Jobs: Create 35,000 new energy transition jobs in Scotland by 2030

We need investment in permanent, local jobs in industries like wind power manufacturing and operations, hydrogen, carbon capture and decommissioning. Costing only an additional £1.1 billion per year in investment that will pay for itself. That’s just a fraction of the £36 billion in the profits oil companies made from the North Sea last year.

Conditions: North Sea workers must not be left behind

Transitioning North Sea workers need good union jobs with pay, pensions and other conditions that are commensurate with their current roles, as well as the provision of all necessary training. The jobs they move into can’t leave them worse off.

Security: Make Britain energy self-sufficient

We need to work towards a self-sufficient energy system – with 75 per cent local content of energy – harnessing public sector purchasing power to benefit Scottish workers and communities. No more profiteering, with  global market chaos pushing up bills and threatening our future.

Graham added: “It’s time for Labour to do the right thing by North Sea workers. No ban without a plan.”

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