Lindsey oil refinery staff sacked over strike action reinstated

The 647 construction workers sacked at the Lindsey oil refinery have been reinstated, Unite has confirmed.

After extensive negotiations, the main union at the site said it reached a settlement last night with contractors Total, to enable all the sacked contractors to return to work. The staff were sacked last week after they staged a walk-out in protest over 51 contractors being laid off at the site while another employer was hiring staff.

Fresh wildcat strikes erupted across the country, with up to 4,000 people estimated to have staged unofficial action in protest over the sacked workers.

Les Bayliss, Unite’s assistant general secretary, said: “Following hours of detailed negotiations, there has been a significant breakthrough. The proposals for a return to work will be recommended to the workforce by the union’s shop stewards at Lindsey on Monday morning. The employers have agreed to re-instate all the sacked workers.”

Up to 1,200 contract workers staged unofficial action last week at the Lindsey plant, in protest over the 51 redundancies. A further 2,000 contract workers across the country faced being sacked after joining wildcat strike action in support of the Lindsey oil refinery workers, lawyers told Personnel Today.

Guy Lamb, employment partner at DLA Piper, said at the time: “If the strike action is unauthorised, employees are on their own and their employers can dismiss them.

“In this situation the law gives employers a lot of latitude. All the normal protections the law gives to strikers don’t apply if they are taking unofficial strike action.”

The Lindsey oil refinery was previously hit by wildcat strikes in January.

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