Jobs for Brits deal brings end to energy sector strikes

More than 100 new jobs for British workers have been created at the Lindsey Oil Refinery in Lincolnshire, ending the walkout at the plant over the use of foreign labour and halting the wildcat strikes that have spread across the UK’s energy sector.

Staff at the plant accepted a deal negotiated by conciliation service Acas between the workers’ union GMB and management. The deal will see 102 new jobs for British workers created, in addition to the 198 posts filled by Italian and Portuguese migrants by Italian company Irem.

Striking workers will return to work on Monday.

Phil Whitehurst, a GMB official, said the fight for “British jobs for British workers” would not end with the workers in Lindsey.

“We have started it, but I think it’s going to carry on elsewhere,” said Whitehurst.

The company initially awarded a £200m contract to Irem, which hired Italian and Portuguese staff to carry out the job.

The copycat walkouts have been largely confined to the energy sector.

Throughout the dispute, French oil company Total, which runs the Lindsey site, has insisted it was not discriminating against British workers.

Business secretary Lord Mandelson had urged workers to call off the strike, saying that under EU law companies had the right to subcontract work to those companies “best suited” for the job.

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