Drax workers walk out over pay cut

Placard at the protest outside Drax – photo Iain Dalton

Hundreds of workers ar Drax Power Station, near Selby, joined a series of national walk outs over the refusal of the Engineering Construction Industry Assocation (ECIA) employers to re-open talks over pay following skyrocketing inflation.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

A two year deal was agreed for NAECI (National Agreement for Engineering Construction Industry) sites in January, which now threatens an effective 14% pay cut against inflation projections for January next year.

At Drax numbers grew from a handful early in the morning, to hundreds as workers parked up after speaking to other workers and joined the protest.

Their numbers were increased further due to the hostile attitude of security who moved workers in from further into the complex and then attempted to stop workers speaking to drivers coming into the site. In response workers who had been given dispensation to fix a broken boiler walked out to join the protest.

Many of these workers work in very dangerous conditions, some for very low basic pay. I spoke to industrial cleaners who work in very hot conditions removing slag from pipework and clicker and ash from hoppers for just £10.58 an hour!

There was discontent already around the low pay for such work, but the rising cost of living has made their position impossible with several workers existing fears about rising energy bills in the autumn.

Workers we spoke to were clear they’d be back to protest every fortnight if the employers didn’t budge.

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