Sympathy strikes spread across the UK

By Blaine Williams

Strikes have spread across the UK in support of the mass walk out at the Lindsey oil refinery in protest at the exclusive use of foreign workers.

The strike is now in its third day, with hundreds gathered outside the plant protesting against the refinery’s Italian contractors.

This morning, the prime minister’s spokesman confirmed the government would be holding talks with the construction industry over the next few days to discuss the matter.

The refinery is owned by Total and is the third largest oil refinery in Britain.

The strike has led other actions across the country in support of the original strike. For full story click here.

Strikers in Grangemouth, in central Scotland, Aberthaw, in South Wales, and Teesside have joined the strike.

Showing their solidarity with the Linkonshire strikers, about 700 workers at the Grangemouth oil refinery walked out early this morning.

About 40 people are holding a peaceful protest outside the main gate of Aberthaw power station.

Roughly 400 demonstrators are now picketing all four gates of the former ICI complex at Wilton on Teeside, the Cleveland police have confirmed.

A Total spokesman said: “We recognise the concerns of contractors but we want to stress that there will be no direct redundancies as a result of this contract being awarded”

“It is important to note that we have been a major local employer for 40 years with 550 permanent staff employed at the refinery. There are also between 200 and 1000 contractors working at the refinery, the vast majority of which work for UK companies employing local people.”

The trade union, Unite, has said it wants to sit down with the director of the refinery to try and sort out a deal.