Home Business News Energy firm to cut 1,700 jobs leaving workers ‘devastated’ and will reduce number of offices from 10 to three

Energy firm to cut 1,700 jobs leaving workers ‘devastated’ and will reduce number of offices from 10 to three

by LLB staff reporter
13th Jan 22 3:09 pm

The energy firm Ovo are to cut 1,700 jobs leaving workers “devastated” and unions will oppose the job cuts.

The government has been criticised by unions for “doing nothing” to tackle the ongoing energy crisis and “we are all paying the price.”

Ovo energy are to reduce their offices from 10 to three and staff were informed this morning of the news.

The energy company has around 4.5m customers and the cut in jobs represents a quarter of their employees, and staff will get a pay rise as they are increasing the minimum wage by 15% to £12 an hour for 1,000 workers.

General secretary Sharon Graham said, “We will do everything in our power to defend our members’ jobs.

“All and every option will be on the table. As a first step the company must now open the books to union experts.

“We will not sit by and watch our members being made to pay the price of the pandemic.”

Unite national officer for energy Simon Coop added: “We warned the directors about blundering into the SSE takeover.

“In recent years the same directors have plundered the accounts for amounts estimated to be touching £5 million.

“Ovo must be subject to severe scrutiny before the union decides on our next moves, but if they move to compulsory redundancies they will be fully opposed by the union.”

GMB national officer Gary Carter said: “This is a new year kick in the teeth for employees who have seen the company through Covid and faced increased call volumes and stress caused by the energy crisis.

“At a time when more than 20 energy companies have gone to the wall and customers are looking to other providers for their energy needs, this looks like the wrong time to cut jobs.

“Customer numbers are increasing in those companies left in the energy retail sector.

“The Government has stood back and done nothing to address the energy crisis and we are all paying the price.”

Unison’s head of energy Matt Lay said: “Hard-working staff across the company will be devastated as they anxiously await their fate. Closing offices will hit local economies hard too.

“Staff have been dealt a cruel blow. Instead of worrying about star jumps, porridge and cat cuddles, Ovo bosses should have been spending time on the issues that matter. Axing so many public-facing roles will have a huge impact on customers.

“Unions will be pushing managers to hold on to staff and retrain them. Those in at-risk roles must become part of the huge energy-efficiency drive that’s necessary if net-zero commitments are to be met.

“The Government isn’t without blame. Its hands-off approach to energy regulation has been disastrous. Ministers need to roll up their sleeves and get involved before the UK’s entire energy sector goes under.”

Sue Ferns of the Prospect union said: “These job losses are a further result of the crisis in energy retail. The Government needs to urgently look at wholesale reform of the energy retail market, including bringing it under local public control. Consumers and workers are paying the price for a system that simply does not work.

“We hope that Ovo is able to stick to its promise to limit losses to voluntary redundancy. Prospect will be working with the company to mitigate as far as possible the impact of this decision on our members.”

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