Unite has reacted with dismay following this afternoon’s (Monday 23 March) announcement by Scottish Power that the Longannet power station in Fife is to close next year, calling the decision a disaster for local jobs and the economy.
Unite had previously called for both Scottish and UK government interventions to resolve a dispute between the company and the National Grid over the cost of transmission connection - an estimated £40 million for 2015 - and to protect the immediate future of 270 jobs.
However, workers were told today that the closing date of the plant would be brought forward from 2020 to March 2016 after Longannet missed out on a short-term contract to monitor electricity supply voltage levels to the National Grid.
Unite Senior Industrial Officer Billy Parker said, “Longannet’s closure is a disaster for the workers and the local area because these skilled jobs and supply-chain benefits cannot be replicated in the current economic climate.
“Our members’ livelihoods have been put on twelve months’ notice because of an economic power struggle they had no say in or control over, while governments at both Westminster and Holyrood effectively left them at the mercy of the market.
“This is symptomatic of the wider problems we have in our energy sector that have, quite frankly, been left unchallenged and unresolved by government for far too long.
“Unite will be meeting with the Energy Minister Fergus Ewing later this week and it’s fair to say to this will now take on a whole a new dimension following today’s announcement.”
For further information please contact Unite Senior Industrial Officer Billy Parker on 07958 514695 or Peter Welsh on 07810 157931
Notes to Editors:
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.