Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Energy company bosses tell workforce to go on strike

Climate Strikers from St Johns School in Marlborough

 

An energy company's workforce has gone on strike today – at the insistence of its bosses.

Good Energy, based in Chippenham, has told its 250 staff to down tools and join climate activist Greta Thunberg and the school strike movement in Bristol today (Friday).

One of the strikers, Johanna Pettipher, who works as an accounts specialist, said: “Going on climate strike on the direction of Good Energy's senior team feels like a blessing. In my last job, I had to take a day off work to go to the climate strike in October. My passions are now aligned with my company’s and I hope that we can encourage more people to show their support for making a difference. Protesting is the best way to tell the world that we are ready for better.”

Workers at Good Energy were told they do not need to time off to go the climate change march. Many Good Energy people joined September’s Global Climate Strike in Bristol, when the company declared a climate emergency, but this is the first time it has explicitly directed employees to get involved.

Fran Woodward, people and customer operations director, said: “We wouldn't normally do this, but I felt we needed to. It’s why this company exists, so the decision was a no-brainer really.”

“Our people are fighting climate change every day by coming to work and helping our customers use clean energy. But our customers have responded brilliantly to our support for the youth strikes. They have chosen us because they believe in our purpose of tackling climate change, and there is no clearer expression of that than in Greta’s message.”

“Seeing Greta speak in our local city and marching alongside the youth strike movement she started is a once in a lifetime opportunity we want our people to have a chance to be a part of. I can’t wait to see a Good Energy army on Bristol’s streets joining the call for urgent climate action,” she added.

The company has previously shown support to the youth climate movement. It handed over its Twitter account to school strikers in May 2019, interviewed strikers on its blog and social media channels, and sponsored the UK’s first Local Conference of Youth in Manchester.

Good Energy’s customer service team will operate as normal.