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Unite's statement on the Lindsey oil refinery dispute

Unite joint general secretary, Derek Simpson said,

"The workers involved in the unofficial dispute at the Lindsey Oil refinery will vote on a deal tomorrow morning to end the unofficial walkouts. Unite has assisted in attempting to broker a deal.

"We hope this deal will be accepted by the workers at the refinery.

"No Italian worker will lose their job as a result of this deal. Unite officials emphasised the importance of this throughout the negotiations.

Lindsey is part of a much wider problem that will not go away if the unofficial strikers go back to work.

"The government is beginning to grasp the fundamental issues. The problem is not workers from other European countries working in the UK, nor is it about foreign contractors winning contracts in the UK. The problem is that employers are excluding UK workers from even applying for work on these contracts.

"The flexible labour market is a one way street that only benefits the employers. We have seen the backlash as the recession bites. The government must act to level the playing field for UK workers.

"No European worker should be barred from applying for a British job and absolutely no British worker should be barred from applying for a British job."

Unite has proposed a three point plan for dealing he current problems taking place across construction sites in the UK.

1. Resolve the immediate problem that exists at Total's Lindsey oil refinery. Reach an agreement which gives fair consideration for UK labour to work on the contract.

2. Carry out an investigation into the practices of contractors and subcontactors in the engineering and construction industry. Follow by action from the government which will insist that companies applying for contracts on public infrastructure projects, sign up to Corporate Social Responsibility agreements which commit to fair access for UK Labour.

3. Overturn European legal precedents which allow employers to undercut wages and conditions. A European Court of Justice precedent gives employers a license for 'social dumping' and prevents unions form taking action to prevent the erosion of UK workers' pay and condition (see notes to editors).

The current proposals to be put to the workers at Lindsey will mean that 102 additional jobs will be created for UK workers.

ENDS
Contact: Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315

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