The UK could face power cuts later this month, as workers employed at Drax power station in Yorkshire take strike action in a dispute over pay.

Real terms pay cut

The 180-plus workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have rejected an eight per cent pay increase. The offer is a substantial real terms pay cut with the current inflation rate (RPI) standing at 13.4 per cent.

When Drax is fully operational it generates seven per cent of the UK’s electricity. The strike action will close Drax down.

Drax greed

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a classic case of greed by a company which is already generating eye-watering profits. Drax is cynically seeking to boost its bonanza profits further by forcing workers to take a real terms pay cut.

“Unite is now totally focussed on the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and the workers at Drax will be receiving the union’s complete support.”

Nine days of strikes

Unite has announced an initial nine days of strike action with strikes taking place on 20 and 27 February, then 6, 13, 20, 27 March and 4, 10 and 17 April.

The workers are particularly incensed that the company is trying to force through a real terms pay cut at a time when it is making huge profits due to the increase in the cost of electricity. Drax is estimated to generate profits in excess of £680 million for 2022, an increase of well over 50 per cent on the previous year.

National Grid strain

Unite regional officer Shane Sweeting said: “The strike action at Drax will inevitably cause considerable strain on the national grid but this dispute is completely of the company’s own making. Drax has had every opportunity to make our members a fair offer, but it has repeatedly failed to do so.”


For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.