The proposed closure of the coal-fired power station at Ferrybridge in West Yorkshire is ‘a hammer blow for the workforce’, Unite, the largest union in the country, said today (Wednesday 20 May).
Unite said that that there were 172 employees at the site, as well as 200 contract workers.
Unite national officer Kevin Coyne said: “Unite wants to enter into talks with the company as to the need for the plant’s closure. In the meantime, we will seek that any redundancies will be voluntary and that the maximum effort is made in order to seek alternative suitable employment in other parts of the business.
“Today’s announcement is a hammer blow for the workers and their families.
“The closure of the power station next March again reinforces the message to ministers that they should speed up the development of alternative technologies, such as carbon capture and storage.
“The issues surrounding the loss-making Ferrybridge are complex – it is 48 years-old; there was a serious fire there last year and government policy sees a limited role for coal in the future.
“Ferrybridge also lost out in ‘the capacity market auction’ which allocates contracts to supply electricity to the National Grid under a government scheme which pays for certain plants to remain online until 2018-2019.
“Unite has repeatedly warned that if the government does not have a coherent and sustainable energy strategy to meet the future needs of industry, commerce and the consumer, Britain will be in a dark place, literally.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2061 or senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.