|Pinsent Masons partner Lisa Patmore points out that unofficial wildcat strikes can pose a serious risk to employees who be misled by the sight of support behind the scenes from shop stewards.|
Wildcat strikes are continuing to break out in several power plants in sympathy of the sacked workers at Lindsey oil refinery – as talks aimed at resolving dispute have been adjourned.
Tom Hardacre, national officer for union Unite, met yesterday with representatives of contractors and the refinery’s owner Total in a bid to end the stalemate caused by the sacking of 647 striking workers.
The talks are to resume on Thursday afternoon, but Unite has stated that all of the workers will need to be reinstated if the dispute is to end.
More than 1,000 workers at the Ensus wheat refinery in Wilton walked out last Friday, and are still on strike, in sympathy of Lindsey oil workers. At Sellafield, 900 workers downed tools for three days, while smaller strikes have also taken place at Coryton oil refinery and Tilbury power station. At Drax’s Selby power plant yesterday, more than 200 contract workers staged a one-day strike.
The initial strike at Lindsey oil refinery was triggered by the news earlier this month that one sub-contractor on the site had cut 51 jobs while another was still hiring.