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Workers threaten to down tools at Drax power plant

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Hundreds of engineers and plant staff at the Drax biomass energy plant in Yorkshire are threatening strike action.

The workers, comprised of GMB and Unite union members, served notice of a 48-hour walkout over a proposed 2.8% pay rise, which is seen as insufficient.

The Times has reported that 406 of 500 staff at the power station could be involved in the industrial action.

GMB senior organiser Pete Davies said union members were overwhelmingly in favour of the two-day walkout. “GMB members have voted overwhelming for strike action. This is purely a pay issue, members are not happy about the remuneration settlement and other issues connected to it,” he said.

“However, we are hopeful the latest talks on Thursday will bear fruit and we await the response to our proposal from the board.”

A Drax spokesperson said: “We’re continuing to work closely with the unions – we both want to resolve the pay dispute and avoid strike action. An improved two year pay offer will be put to GMB and Unite union members for a ballot. The planned industrial action on June 16 has been postponed pending the outcome of the vote.”

The Drax biomass plant, which is a converted coal-fired power plant, supplies 4,000MW to the grid.

The plant burns special wood pellets using a unique form of carbon capture to reduce its emissions, called bioenergy carbon capture and storage. Drax also recently announced the creation of a “zero carbon cluster” in the Humber region of the North of England.

Talks between Drax representatives and the unions on the new offer are planned for Thursday.

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