From 5th to 8th of February a delegation of trade union representatives from ScottishPower visited Spain to meet with both Iberdrola management and Spanish trade union colleagues. The trip also included site visits to the Madrid Control Centre and a gas-fired power station outside Valencia.
Our overall impression from both trade unions and management was of a Company with a good relationship with its trade unions and a track record of negotiating change and proceeding by agreement. The Spanish trade unions highlighted the wide ranging collective agreement they had recently reached with management and pointed out that they had never taken industrial action in the Company.
At our meeting with senior management we raised the concerns of the ScottishPower trade unions side about job security, the maintenance of the no-compulsory redundancy policy, the preservation of on-going negotiating rights, the protection of existing terms and conditions and pensions rights, our opposition to any break-up of the Company and the need to address issues around the ESOP and share-save schemes.
Although Iberdrola management were constrained about what they could practically say until the takeover has been finalised we were assured that their decision to buy ScottishPower was not an asset-stripping exercise and that they intended to maintain the integrity of the ScottishPower group. They also emphasised their intention to invest in ScottishPower including potentially in new generating plant.
It is, of course, too early to say how Iberdrola will wish to manage ScottishPower in the context of its global strategy. The trade union side in ScottishPower has now established a relationship with both the Spanish trade unions and the Iberdrola management which is important and will be developed. At this stage we do not know what detailed impact the Iberdrola takeover will have on members in ScottishPower. Our general impression, however, is that Iberdrola is a company that does not pose any immediate threat to members in ScottishPower and is a company that appears to be committed to negotiate and agree change.
The statement was signed by representatives of the following unions: Amicus, GMB, Prospect, TGWU and Unison.