THE government should be putting pressure on Manx Gas to rethink a shake-up of its operations that will result in up to 10 job losses.
That’s the message from union boss Steve Salter who had written to Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK and Economic Development Minister John Shimmin MHK asking them what they were doing to persuade the utility not to move its billing and accounts department off island ‘at the cost of several individuals being made redundant on our island.’
He wrote: ‘Given the huge amount of taxpayers’ money that has been invested in the gas infrastructure which Manx Gas is the main beneficiary from, why is the government not putting more pressure on this private company to invest themselves in the island that has given them so much support?
‘Manx Gas is quick to take money from us but when asked to invest a little of their own they would rather invest it in a new accounts system in the Channel Islands.
‘This does not add up as far as I am concerned and I am quite sure the public would be appalled to find out that despite how much they have had from us they are still prepared to move part of their operation of island at the expense of local jobs.’
Manx Gas confirmed earlier this month that between 10 and 15 jobs were to go as part of a restructure of its operations. Commercial director of parent company International Energy Group John Davies said the job losses will be across all levels of the workforce at Manx Gas in the island.
IEG says about 50 jobs will go across its operations in the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.
Work on a government funded £23.5 million scheme to extend the island’s natural gas pipeline project was completed – on time and on budget – towards the end of last year.
It will enable some 6,800 homes and businesses in the north, west and south of the island to be connected to natural gas.