The proposed closure of two gas-fired power stations at Killingholme in north Lincolnshire with the loss of about 100 skilled jobs will be fought by Unite, the country’s largest union.
The union said that the closure of these two plants with the loss of jobs, such as engineers, technicians and maintenance staff, would be ‘a huge blow to the local economy’.
Yesterday (Thursday 19 March) E.ON announced that it was closing its power station with the loss of 57 jobs within the next 18 months, which comes just three weeks after Centrica announced that it was shutting down its plant next door.
Both power stations - as well as a Centrica-owned one at nearby Brigg - are closing, after losing out in ‘the capacity market auction’ which allocates contracts to supply electricity to the National Grid under a government scheme that pays for certain plants to remain online until 2018-2019.
One ray of hope is the possibility that they may win Supplemental Balancing Reserve contracts which come into play when there are huge spikes in electricity demand on the grid.
Yesterday Unite regional coordinating officer Paresh Patel was in consultation talks with Centrica ‘to explore every avenue to protect jobs’. Similar talks with E.ON have yet to be announced.
Paresh Patel said: “The closure of the two Killingholme plants is a bitter blow for those whose jobs are under threat and also to the local economy.
“Our aim, as a union, is to keep these power stations open, if at all possible, and protect jobs, avoiding compulsory redundancies and exploring redeployment opportunities for these highly skilled workers.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065 or Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066.
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.