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More than 200 jobs under threat at SSE retail divison, claims union

The retail division of SSE was bought by Bristol-based Ovo Energy in January.

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(Ovo Energy/PA)

(Ovo Energy/PA)

(Ovo Energy/PA)

More than 200 engineers at energy supplier SSE are to be made redundant months after it was taken over by Ovo Energy, a trade union has claimed.

The retail division of SSE was bought by Bristol-based Ovo Energy in January as part of the £500 million acquisition.

Some 215 gas and electrical engineers who respond to emergency callouts as well as the fitting and servicing of boilers are to be made redundant at the energy giant, according to the GMB union.

It said the supplier is set to close its in-house home services business, making all staff in this area – the bulk of whom are based in Scotland and southern England – redundant by the end of the year.

The union said the job losses would be a “betrayal” after the company made assurances to the public that no jobs would be lost during the takeover.

After acquiring SSE, Ovo Energy became Britain’s second biggest energy supplier.

When the takeover was announced last September, politicians gave assurances that there would be no job losses at Perth-headquartered SSE.

Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, said he had been reassured during a meeting with SSE after the takeover was announced.

Justin Bowden, GMB national secretary, said: “This is a betrayal of more than 200 loyal engineers with thousands of years of combined service to the SSE/OVO brands.

“Just a few months ago, promises were made to workers and politicians alike that the sale of SSE’s retail business to OVO would not lead to a single job loss.

“The fact that after sacking the workforce OVO would like all gas and electrical engineers to ‘offer their services’ back – but on a self-employed basis – tells you that the work is still there, but OVO wants it on the cheap.”

PA