RMT union criticises Vattenfall

In: Windfarms
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) based in the UK has criticised Vattenfall Wind Power, a subsidiary of Swedish energy giant Vattenfall, over alleged threats to ‘fire and re-hire’ to members.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Our members are working hard during the pandemic to maintain and operate Vattenfall’s offshore wind farms, having delivered over £19m in profit in 2019. Yet they are being threatened with fire and re-hire because they objected to the employer’s changes to terms and conditions, including cuts to annual leave.

“There is no way that attacks like this would fly in Sweden, where trade unions have a seat on Vattenfall Group’s board and there is no way RMT will accept these outrageous threats.

“Vattenfall co-chair the Offshore Wind Energy Council and we expect them to demonstrate their commitment to good industrial relations and employment practices in the UK offshore wind industry by taking the nuclear threat of fire and re-hire off the table and to get back around the negotiating table with RMT.”

Vattenfall is one of the biggest offshore wind developers in the world. In the UK, Vattenfall recently secured consent for its
Norfolk Vanguard project off the Norfolk coast last year. It is also hoping to secure consent for the nearby Norfolk Boreas project mid-April 2021. The two arrays would have a combined capacity of 3.6 GW and could be operational from the mid-2020s. The projects' combined capacity is expected to meet the equivalent annual electricity demand today of 2.6 million UK households.

4C Offshore contacted Vattenfall who stated that there are currently no formal negotiation between Vattenfall and the RMT. The company is consulting with staff and their elected representatives. A spokesperson commented: “Our UK offshore wind teams are key to Vattenfall’s operations and to the goal of reaching net zero by 2050.

“Vattenfall has been in discussions with our teams to ensure consistent and fair terms and conditions at all our offshore wind farms in the UK.  

“Our proposals have been accepted by the vast majority of our offshore workforce. They will not leave any employee financially worse off, nor will they affect continuous service or benefits entitlements, or reduce the amount of paid leave people can take.

“Vattenfall has not made any threat of termination and re-engagement. We have been transparent in our consultation process and next steps – this is a straightforward process which enables our employees to be part of our future strategy, including better terms and conditions than their current contracts.”

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