158 people are employed at the site in Warrington - which is set to close by the end of next March
The closure of Fiddler’s Ferry coal-fired power station in Warrington by next March is ‘grim news’ for the workforce and the North West economy, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union.
Unite has about 110 members, employed by the energy giant SSE, at the Cheshire plant, as well as a further 50 members working for contractors and sub-contractors on site.
Unite blamed the government’s failure to offer a decent price in the capacity market auctions – designed to plug the demand gaps in the National Grid – for hastening SSE’s decision to close the power station next year, as opposed to the early 2020s as was expected.
Unite is meeting the management next Tuesday (18 June) to press the case for redeployment opportunities for the workers and enhanced redundancy terms.
Unite regional officer Graham Williams said: “This is very grim news for the workforce – ranging from admin to engineering jobs – and their families, as well as being a devastating blow for the economy in the North West.
“While we recognise that coal-fired electricity generation is being phased out, Fiddler’s Ferry plays a significant role in providing back-up when there are surges in energy demand during cold snaps and the National Grid is seeking additional supplies.
“The fact that the government is not prepared to pay an economic price to have this reserve at the ready shows that ministers are more interested in the internal energy market than the country’s national interest.
“The closure of Fiddler’s Ferry, which has provided energy to the National Grid for 50 years, increases the likelihood of possible future power cuts.
“We are meeting SSE management on Tuesday to discuss the mechanisms leading up to the closure.
“We note that SSE is seeking to avoid compulsory redundancies and we will be exploring redeployment opportunities and firming up the redundancy agreements we have with the company, so those members wishing to take that route have an enhanced package.”