Power threat

Disruption warning as Drax workers ballot for strike

Cruachan Dam
Cruachan power station

Businesses are being warned about a possible disruption to energy supplies as workers at a number of Scottish power stations prepare to ballot for strike action.

The vote involves about 50 Unite members at Drax Hydro-owned Stonebyre (Lanark), Cruachan (Loch Awe) and Glenlee (Castle Douglas) power stations. 

Drax Hydro normally supplies businesses and only supplies consumers in the event there is a shortage in the system.

The ballot which opens on 1 February and closes on 22 February follows the rejection of an 8% pay offer.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Energy workers’ pay is lagging well behind the eye-watering profits being made across the sector. 

“Drax’s parent group is awash with tens of millions in profit. Yet, Drax Hydro workers have been offered what amounts to a significant real terms wage cut, this is totally unacceptable. We will fully support our members in their fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.” 

If the ballot is successful then strike action could take place in early March.  The workers involved include engineers, plant controllers, as well as mechanical and electrical craft workers. A consultative ballot held in December 2022 indicated that strike action was supported by 84.9% of Unite members.

Elaine Dougall, Unite regional co-ordinating officer said: “The pay offer on the table by Drax Hydro doesn’t come close to meeting the fair and reasonable demands of our members.

“The Drax Group like all energy companies is benefiting from price hikes across the board. If there is no improved wage offer then our members are set to take strike action in the coming weeks. 

“This could directly hit energy supplies to Scottish businesses. Drax Hydro must explain why they are prepared to jeopardise the precarious position of many Scottish businesses rather than working to resolve this dispute.” 

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