Lindsey strike threatens to spread

By politics.co.uk staff

The strike at Lindsey oil refinery threatened to spread across the country today after workers were sent a letter by management telling them they had all been sacked.

French oil giant Total has now confirmed it wrote to every worker on a particular £200 million project at the site saying they have been sacked and had until Monday to reapply for their job.

The move has provoked anger among workers, and up to 17 other power station workers are expected to undertake sympathy action.

Text messages being sent to workers read: “Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Your support is now needed more than ever. If you are supporting our brothers across the country thank you. If you’re not yet out just remember next time it could be you. We must fight this NOW.”

The sackings were announced last night after a wildcat strike over 51 job losses on a hydro desulpherisation plant entered its second week.

It was being conducted by the same workers who instigated action at the plant in February over the use of Italian workers.

Union general secretary Paul Kenny said: “Total has for a full week refused to meet with the unions to resolve this matter through Acas.

“It seems pretty obvious that victimisation is taking place. Laying off the workforce will not solve the problem, it will escalate it.”

In a statement released last night, the British arm of the French-owned oil company said: “Total can confirm, with regret, that our contractors have now started the process of ending the current employment contracts for their workforce on the HDS-3 construction project.

“The contractor workforce has been engaged in an unofficial, illegal walk out since last Thursday, June 11th. This action has been repudiated by both the Unite and GMB unions.”