Unite the union has successfully negotiated that nearly 500 EDF Energy workers will be furloughed on 100 per cent pay during the coronavirus pandemic.
The agreement covers meter installers, meter fixers and revenue collection workers employed by the energy giant in London, as well as in the south east and south west regions.
The agreement will embrace 498 workers, who are being furloughed, out of a total workforce of 1,193.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The agreement reached with EDF Energy will protect the pay and jobs of our members during the current coronavirus crisis.
“What we have achieved is the fundamental and central role of a trade union – defending workers’ interests in the workplace, through thick and thin, and especially so when times are particularly hard.
“This is the time when a union’s values, strength and resilience are truly tested and our reps at EDF have met that challenge 100 per cent.
“This agreement was hammered out because this is a Unite organised work force. Nothing is ever guaranteed – but what this does show, yet again, is that you stand a fighting chance if you are a member of a trade union.”
The rest of the non-furloughed staff remains on full pay and will be either voluntary emergency staff, who are on call, or employees who have volunteered to take part in community schemes – for example, delivering prescriptions and medication to the sick and elderly.