Electricians protest at blacklisting in high voltage sector, warn of safety risks


Electricians are demanding energy firms SSE and Scottish Power intervene after one of their contractors allegedly sacked and blacklisted three colleagues when they sought recognition for their union Unite.

They warn labour shortages in the booming high voltage energy sector could lead to an erosion of safety standards without the protective effect of unions and on-the-ground union safety reps.

The three were sacked by Kirby Group Engineering on 23 December 2022, leading to a protest outside SSE’s Glasgow headquarters.

Greig McArthur, one of the sacked workers, who joined a second protest on 5 January 2023 outside the SSE HQ, said the firings came as the company was about to enter discussions at Acas over a recognition agreement with Unite.

McArthur said the protesters are calling on SSE and Scottish Power to “take some responsibility for their subcontractor firms behaving like this.”

He  added it was critical there was a “healthy trade union influence in this sector so that these projects can benefit from the on-site effects of having union safety representatives.”

The workers’ case will be heard by an employment tribunal on 27 January.

Morning Star.  5 January 2023 protest video on YouTube.

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