Jersey’s private sector gas workers should be treated the same as those employed by the state-owned utilities during the coronavirus emergency, Unite the union, urged today (Monday 6 April).

Unite has lent its weight to the campaign for workers at Jersey Gas and Kosangas Jersey to be eligible for the Phase 2 payroll co-funding scheme – the Channel Island’s equivalent of the UK ‘s coronavirus job retention scheme which guarantees furloughed workers 80 per cent of income.

Jersey Electricity and Jersey Water are owned by the States of Jersey government, so these workers already receive state support, while privately-owned utilities, currently, don’t have access to the scheme.

Unite regional coordinating officer Terry Keefe said: “Unite is lending its support to the gas companies in their bid to qualify for the Phase 2 payroll.  They provide services to about half Jersey’s businesses, including hotels and restaurants now closed, and are really under the financial cosh.

“The States' government quickly needs to embrace private utility companies in Phase 2 for cash flow reasons to keep them afloat, otherwise our members could find themselves in desperate financial hardship.

“The future provision of gas by a highly skilled workforce will also be under threat.

“This is not the time for the States of Jersey government to engage in short-termism – we need to retain the gas workers as they will be a vital cog in rebuilding the post-pandemic economy.”

Unite has about 60 gas worker members on Jersey.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065

Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.