Union announces further strike action at Drax
Further strike action over a separate dispute was announced on 23 February, as Unite the union said energy workers employed by Drax Hydro Limited, who operate power stations across Scotland, have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay.
Around 50 Unite members covering Stonebyres (Lanark), Cruachan (Loch Awe) and Glenlee (Castle Douglas) power stations voted yes to strike action by 84.6% on a turnout of 86.7%.
The workers also voted by 92.3% to take action short of a strike - which would involve an overtime ban.
The workers include engineers, plant controllers, as well as mechanical and electrical craft workers. The strike action days are expected to take place from mid-March, with Unite making an official announcement next week.
The vote for strike action, and action short of a strike, follows the rejection of an offer (8%), which is significantly below the current rate of inflation at 13.4 per cent (RPI).
Drax Hydro posted its latest accounts in July 2022 on Companies House indicating the company made profits totalling £2.3m for 2021.
The trade union predicted the strike action in Scotland, in conjunction with the pay dispute involving Unite members at the Drax power station in Yorkshire, could lead to the UK facing power cuts.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Drax Hydro is a profitable energy company and it can afford to pay its workforce significantly more than the current offer. It is also part of a wider Drax Group with underlying earnings for last year projected to be around a staggering £680m. This is a classic case of corporate greed and now the UK faces a threat of power cuts due to Drax’s greed.
“Unite is completely focussed on the jobs, pay and conditions of our members, and the workers at Drax Hydro will be receiving the union’s total support.”
Elaine Dougall, Unite regional co-ordinating officer said: "The pay offer on the table by Drax Hydro is unacceptable. The company is profitable and the workforce has made reasonable demands which Drax can well afford to pay.
“Unite will not tolerate real terms pay cuts and our members are determined to get what they deserve. It should not have needed to come to this point as the parent group is awash with hundreds of millions in profit.
“Strike action is now on the cards in a couple of weeks’ time and the blame for any threats to energy supply lies completely with the company.”