A new survey has been launched by Platform and Friends of the Earth Scotland to hear from workers in the oil and gas industry and supply chain about how COVID-19 and the oil price crash have impacted their working life. Hundreds of workers have already responded, detailing their experience in the industry, their fears around job security and what type of future they want.
The survey is directed at people employed in the oil and gas industry and in associated industries, such as aviation, transport, car manufacturing and service industries, as well as people in public bodies, unions or community organisations who regularly interact with oil and gas workers.
The survey’s objective is two-fold. The first is to gather views on the effect of the oil crisis and COVID-19 on job security and work conditions for those in the industry. The second is to understand how the campaign for a ‘Just Transition’ is perceived by oil and gas workers and what kinds of demands workers would like to see addressed by a transition to a net-zero or zero-carbon economy.
Initial responses indicate that there is a significant appetite among workers to take up jobs in new growing sectors like offshore and onshore wind, solar and oil rig decommissioning. However the early responses also show that the language of ‘Just Transition’ is totally unfamiliar to the workforce, revealing that campaigns highlighting the potential opportunity and support needed to realise a green economy are not cutting through.
Workers in the oil and gas industry — and anyone living in an area with a high carbon industry — are on the frontlines of the coming energy transition. The volatile nature of the oil and gas industry — with cyclical shocks regularly leading to thousands of layoffs — makes it clear that companies are not interested in protecting their workers. Instead, we must work together to protect livelihoods. Oil and gas workers deserve to plan their futures, and must shape demands for any energy transition planned by NGOs, government or unions.
The information collected by the survey will inform campaigning decisions by environmental and labour organisations related to a ‘Just Transition’ and can help to ensure that workers’ voices are at the forefront of the discussion about a just recovery post-COVID-19. An energy transition must focus on the needs and wants of affected workers. The COVID-19 era demands a focus on job retention and security.
Do you have contacts working within the oil and gas sector, high-carbon industries, or public bodies, unions and community groups close to those employed in these sectors? If so, share this link with them – and ask them to pass it on! Full survey results and analysis are coming soon.
If you would like to get in contact with Platform to discuss the survey and the use of its results, please contact Gabrielle Jeliazkov at firstname.lastname@example.org