Labour Research November 2021


Johnson must ‘get a grip’ on energy crisis

The government must “get a grip” and solve the energy crisis, say unions, warning that jobs and livelihoods are at risk.

Industry leaders representing energy intensive industries have also been pressing the government for action as soaring wholesale gas prices put production at risk.

As Labour Research went to press, it was still unclear how the government planned to provide support over the winter months. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham called on prime minister Boris Johnson to “get a grip and bang heads together” and for industry chiefs and government ministers to work with the unions now to ensure no jobs are lost.

She said: “Our energy sector is in crisis; suppliers are going bust and homeowners are facing massive price hikes.

“Added to this, the failure to guarantee the UK’s energy security and to properly plan for and invest in the future threatens thousands of jobs for construction in our ‘new nuclear’ sector.”

As well as calling for immediate action to reduce network costs, the GMB is calling for network tariff discounts, offered to competitor industries across Europe, to be replicated in the UK. Jude Brimble, GMB national secretary, said any national shortfall in energy “will mean that intensive energy users will be forced off the gas network to protect households.

“The impact on industry can be fast and dramatic — and could have a major impact on supply chains.”