Unions react to National Grid half-year results, calling for end to £1 million-a-day lock out

According to National Grid figures released today, its lock-out of 1,200 Massachusetts gas workers has cost £1 million a day for each of the 97 lock-out days accounted for in the half-year results (the lockout began on 25 June 2018 with National Grid results covering the period to 30 September 2018).

The company confirmed that it had incurred additional costs of £97 million to end September associated with the lockout of two of its gas unions in Massachusetts over employment terms and conditions which have been classified as exceptional.

The costs to date include the employment of contract workers to replace those locked-out, increased supervision to ensure safe operation by less experienced workers, and the establishment of temporary work sites.

Unite the Union and United Steelworkers, under their international structure Workers Uniting, reacted to this morning results, calling for UK headquarter intervention to end local National Grid intransigence.

Commenting on the results, a Workers Uniting spokeperson said “National Grid’s results this morning, including a 33% fall in profits overall show that global corporations cannot act with impunity and deny workers’ rights.

“While the results show that the company is already incurring significant costs for its intransigence which far outweigh the cost for reinstatement of vital employee healthcare benefits. This is not even the true picture. The workers have been locked out for over 136 days so far requiring a cruise ship to house replacement workers to tackle emergencies in the region and the cost to local taxpayers is thought to be in the tens of millions.”

“We repeat our calls on CEO John Pettigrew to commit to meaningful talks and end the lock-out.”

Peter McIntosh national officer at Unite the union said: “As a leading UK company on the world stage, National Grid should uphold the highest corporate governance and worker engagement standards for employees in every country it operates in.

"We call on the National Grid UK leadership team, including John Pettigrew CEO, to work to end the lock-out immediately.”

ENDS

For more information:

  • Hume Brophy for United Steelworkers; Edel Bach or Laura Morrissey: Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 6383
  • Shaun Noble, Unite the union : Tel: +44 20 3371 2060 or +44 7768 693940