Oil refinery wildcat enters third day

Strikers and police at Lindsey earlier in the year.
Strikers and police at Lindsey earlier in the year.

Strikes at the Lindsey oil refinery in North Lincolshire entered their third day today as talks between business leaders and employees broke down.

Submitted by Ed on June 16, 2009

The unofficial strike action began at Lindsey Oil Refinery on Saturday as in protest over the loss of 51 jobs, cut by a sub-contractor while another employer on the site was hiring workers.

About 1,200 workers at the Lindsey Oil Refinery continued their wildcat strike today. They were supported by 140 contractors at Fiddlers Ferry Power Station in Cheshire who also walked out in a sympathy strike on Monday.

The refinery was hit by unofficial action earlier this year in a row over the recruitment of non-UK workers. The site at Killingholme employs 550 staff and has up to 1,000 contract workers at any time. The staff who walked out were contract workers.

Shop stewards claimed pledges that there would be no redundancies while IREM, an Italian contractor, was on the site were being broken, and that staff involved in the original dispute were being victimised.

Commenting earlier, Lindsey Oil Refinery owner Total told the BBC it was “frustrated” that talks had broken down and called for an end to the “illegal walkout”. Meanwhile, the strikers are expected to return for another mass meeting on tomorrow morning.

This latest dispute comes as up to 30,000 engineering construction workers are to be balloted on official national industrial action over pay and jobs. The GMB also said it was considering legal action after a confidential letter to employers gave advice on how to deal with the ballot.

The letter, sent by an official of the Engineering Construction Industry Association, said employers should not give names of workers to union officials, should not allow unions access to employees and not allow shop stewards time off to organise the ballot.