Attn: News Desk For immediate release - 04 February 2022
News Release from Pete Wishart MP, John Swinney MSP and Jim Fairlie MSP
SNP Perthshire politicians speak with Unite about OVO redundancies
Perth and North Perthshire MP, Mr Pete Wishart, Perthshire North MSP, Mr John Swinney and Perthshire South and Kinross-shire MSP, Mr Jim Fairlie, today met with Unite representatives regarding OVO’s redundancy plans and the closure of their Perth base.
The meeting took place virtually two weeks after the politicians held a meeting with OVO manager, Adrian Letts; the outcome of which they agreed was extremely unsatisfactory.
Commenting, Mr Wishart said:
“It was really helpful to speak with Unite staff today regarding the current situation with job losses at OVO, and the closure of their Perth base.
“What we established was that there has been a complete lack of transparency from OVO management since our last meeting with them. We still do not know what the exact scale of job losses is in Perth; how they will respond to the ongoing energy crisis with such a huge reduction in staff; and what the timeframe is for these redundancies to be rolled out.
“OVO have also failed to adequately explain why, instead of closing down their state-of-the-art facility in Perth, they can’t use it as their new training centre, which they decided will be based in Glasgow.
“We are calling for Stephen Fitzpatrick to co-operate with us and provide answers. OVO’s lack of clarity is causing severe angst for his employees and customers, and given the current state of the energy sector, they need answers as a matter of urgency”
Mr Swinney added:
“It was useful to speak to Unite, and to re-affirm our shared commitment to fighting against these hugely damaging job losses.
“It is increasingly clear that there has been a lack of substantial engagement from OVO management with all stakeholders throughout this process. Accordingly, Stephen Fitzpatrick must now make himself available to answer the very legitimate questions and concerns that his employees have raised with us directly.”
Mr Fairlie also added:
“It was extremely useful to have a catch up with representatives from Unite and to share thoughts on where we are regarding job losses and office closures at OVO.
“What became very apparent, was that OVO have not been engaging constructively with the unions. There are still vital questions which need to be answered about how OVO will be able to respond to the ongoing energy crisis if they have dispensed with so many staff members. At a time like this, demand on customer service facing roles will be extremely important and I have major concerns that this will lead to the off-shoring of these roles.”