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Oil refinery strikes: Thousands protest over foreign workers


You may have been alerted to considerable animosity within the UK to workers from the EEC....

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So what is going on?

The oll refinery is Total Lindsey Oil Refinery, and Total's decision to award a £200 million construction contract to Italian firm Irem, using foreign labour.

Total has stressed that Irem staff will be paid at UK nationally agreed levels for the engineering construction industry, under the same terms and conditions as agreed with unions for the existing contractor workforce.

It said the Irem contract would mean no anticipated redundancies from the existing contractor workforce. Total also said local companies would be providing additional support services to the project.

What is the dispute about?

The dispute reflects union alarm that work on key infrastructure projects, such as power stations, has been subcontracted to foreign workers, and that UK workers are being denied the right to carry out the work.

It centres on a contract to extend the diesel refining capacity at a refinery owned by oil giant Total in Lincolnshire.

The contract to complete the work was awarded to the California-based engineering group Jacobs in June Protected content a completion date of Protected content .

They then subcontracted to an Italian firm, IREM, after a tender process in which five UK and two European contractors responded.

It is understood that the terms of the contract specified that IREM would be using its existing permanent Italian and Portuguese workforce for the job.

During a recession the sight of foreign workers carrying out such work is proving inflammatory to some, especially when they believe that suitably qualified unemployed UK contractors are available.

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