Ferrybridge power plant strike is 'damaging businesses'

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An engineering firm by Ferrybridge power station said ongoing protests over a pay dispute were damaging trade.

Bob Traynor, who owns Grinding Services on Kirkhaw Lane, said strikers blocking the road to a new plant under construction at the site were preventing deliveries from reaching his factory.

Mr Traynor said: "The protesters have for the last two days blocked the end of Kirkhaw Lane and this is causing serious disruption to my business and no doubt to all the other businesses on Kirkhaw Lane.

"I am extremely disappointed to find that we are having exactly the same problems today and I fear that if this continues for much longer it will start to affect all the businesses on Kirkhaw Lane."

Mr Traynor said he was not opposed to the strikers but felt it was inappropriate that his business was affected as a result of the protest.

The workers, who are contracted to build a new facility, at the plant claimed a fire safety drill last Wednesday proved to be inadequate and many workers could not hear the alarm.

They believed there was a safety risk and walked off the site.

It is understood they were told the alarms would replaced on the Thursday and they were asked to go back to work.

But they claimed they were told they would not be paid for the remainder of the day, when the they left the site.

As a result the tradesmen have not returned to work and have staged protests outside the site.

HZI, the main contractor building the new site, said: “Following recent discussions on Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 site, HZI, as principal contractor is in full dialogue with senior stewards and the senior full time officials in an attempt to ensure that the workforce return to work in a timely manner under the conditions of the NAECI agreement.

“HZI would like to stress that from the very first day when concerns were raised they have assured and demonstrated that the HSE concerns raised were taken seriously and ensured that systems throughout the site were fully working.

“This has been endorsed by the unions, stewards and senior officials. We look forward to working together to ensure the safe and timely delivery of the project.”

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "Motorists please be aware of some traffic disruption on Stranglands Lane, Ferrybridge this morning.

"We have between 500-600 workers out on strike regarding a pay dispute.

"This has caused a great deal of traffic disruption around the former power station site, however we have been working to ensure the road remains open."