Refinery strikes spread across UK

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Barrack Room Lawyer, Jan 30, 2009.

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  1. Strikes have been breaking out across the UK in support of a mass walkout by energy workers in Lincolnshire angry at the use of foreign workers.

    Hundreds are gathered for the third day of the original strike at Lindsey Oil Refinery after owner Total gave a £200m contract to an Italian firm.

    They have been joined by strikers in Grangemouth, in central Scotland, Aberthaw, in South Wales, and Teesside.

    "Sympathy strikes... are spreading rapidly," said the BBC's Danny Savage.

    Hundreds of striking workers are holding a mass meeting at the Lincolnshire refinery.

    Total said there would be "no direct redundancies" at the refinery at North Killingholme as a result of the contract for the Italian company. It's been a kettle ready to boil and the lid has blown off now

    Kenny, protester

    Early on Friday around 700 workers at the Grangemouth Oil Refinery walked out in solidarity with the Lincolnshire strikers.

    South Wales Police are attending a protest at Aberthaw Power Station, which organisers said involved around 50 people peacefully rallying outside the main gate.

    Meanwhile Cleveland Police have confirmed that around 400 demonstrators are now involved in a protest at all four gates of the former ICI complex at Wilton on Teesside.

    And some unconfirmed reports have suggested that up to 200 people have gathered outside the Corus plant near Redcar.

    One protester at the Lincolnshire plant, called Kenny, said British workers should have priority of access to jobs.

    He said the issue was a growing one for many industries.

    "It's been a kettle ready to boil and the lid has blown off now."

    Total bosses said the Italian firm IREM, which employs a specialist workforce, had won the contract to construct the new HDS-3 unit at the Lindsey plant, after a tendering process.

    More than 300 of the Italian firm's workers have been brought in to do the work.

    'Moral indignation'

    Joint leader of the Unite union, Derek Simpson, said workers felt powerless.

    "You can understand the moral indignation as well as the industrial concern that people are expected to have skills, but be unemployed and watch foreign workers [be employed] who have got more privilege because they're not barred from these contracts.

    "The only role that we have is to pay the electric bills from the power stations that they build. No-one can stand aside and say that that is any way justified."

    In a statement, Total said: "We recognise the concerns of contractors but it is important to note that there will be no direct redundancies as a result of this contract being awarded.

    "We have been a major local employer for 40 years and have always enjoyed a good relationship with our staff and contractors.

    "We are disappointed they have taken this action and we hope the situation will be resolved as soon as possible and the contractors return to work."

  2. While I can sympathise with the original strikers, everyone else striking- is that not secondary action and illegal? I thought we'd got rid of that kind of mentality back in the 80s. (Or have I just misinterpreted their actions?)
  3. I think you're right but at the moment I'd support anything that puts pressure on this Government and b*llock eye Brown.
  4. I think you've misinterpreted their actions.

    It's not officially a strike, it's more of a demonstration. Most of those that are involved are contractors that work at multiple sites, many of them for the same companies. Some of them haven't got a contract to go to, but the vast majority have walked off LOR and neighbouring Conoco.
  5. It is a worry for contractors, as a contractor myself who has worked on LOR and most of the steel works, power stations and (whats left of them) coal mines in the UK your next job is always a worry, you work week to week always asking about the next "job" that is coming off.

    I work for a major company in the power industry, but a lot of foreign companys can undercut because of the cheap labour they bring in.

    Lentjes GmbH got the contract for the FGD work on Ferrybridge, Fiddlers Ferry and Rugely for example and the place was flooded with polish workers.

    Babcock got the contract for the FGD at Drax many moons ago and it created local work for 100's of contractors.

    It goes to tender, the company chooses for whatever reasons, how can some companies compete with cheap labour?? i dont know.

    I do know how these guys on LOR feel though.
  6. I'm all for an uprising to remove ZaNuLabor from power.
  7. I don't think that the protestors are articulating their problems very well.

    My understanding is that the beef most of these guys have is not that there are a few foreigners on the job which is to be expected in any high tech job as the oil industry is so cosmopolitan, but that on some contracts there are absolutely no Brits whatsoever despite a few hundred contractors being employed.

    When they come to build the new Nuke power stations in a few years, will similar contracts be acceptable on security grounds I wonder ?
  8. Just to prove that the average British worker is still as stupid as they were in the 70s. Where is Maggie now we need her?
  9. One "Demonstrator" has expressed the situation quite well.

    He is a local and unemployed. "I should be assessed not by the money they put in my pocket but by the skills in my hands." Or words to that effect.

    The news deliverer type person sorta t'ing then went on to state that the contractors in question are Italian and living in a floating hotel that was hired especially for their accomodation.

    So how much does that cost ? :x
  10. Under Brown's ZANU-Neu Arbiet policies English need not apply is becoming commonplace.

    And that gourmless b1tch Harriet Harman wonders why the odious BNP are gaining power and votes on a daily basis in Britain.

    Would the Italian government stand by and watch if a contract was let in Italy and hundreds of foreign workers flooded in and not one Italian was employed?.Somehow,I doubt it.
  11. how long before the government bring out the race card and say all these demonstrators are just racist BNP biggots
  12. Wake up to the EU and Market Forces people. You have no right to a job simply because it is in England if you are too lazy, stupid and expensive.
  13. Do you do it on purpose?

    "but that on some contracts there are absolutely no Brits whatsoever despite a few hundred contractors being employed"

    I know that is just a quote from above but that is what is happening. So you (western) are telling me that there is not one British person that they can employ on these contracts because they are all "lazy, stupid and expensive"?

    Maybe its you that needs to "wake up"
  14. Not at all mate, I am commenting on the gobshites that appeared in the media this morning and their fellow travellers on this site.
    If a foreign company has won the contract and they are using the staff and contractors of thei choice that is the way things are.

    Are you suggesting otherwise?
  15. I doubt it. the fight has gone out of the British people, they're just not up for it. I don't think we'll see the likes of the miners strike or poll tax riots ever again. Not really a bad thing, though my wallet could do with a boost :wink: