Nuclear workers strike in sympathy of Grangemouth foreign worker protests

Workers at two nuclear plants have taken part in ‘sympathy strikes’ in support of protests over the use of foreign labour at Grangemouth oil refinery.

The walk-outs at Sellafield and Heysham plants came as talks aimed at resolving the dispute were set to start with conciliation service Acas.

Workers at Grangemouth and power stations in Longannet and Staythorpe, have also walked out.

Thousands of workers across the UK walked out last week in a series of unofficial strikes in a show of solidarity with employees protesting at the use of Italian and Portuguese labour at the Lindsey refinery.

Total, which owns the Lindsey site, has insisted it is not discriminating against British workers.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Refinery workers are understandably and rightly angry at employers who have not given British based workers the opportunity to apply for new jobs. The employer will be in breach of the law if they restrict any future vacancies to workers of a particular nationality or location.

“But unions are also clear that the anger should be directed at employers, not the Italian workers.”

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

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