Hundreds of Sellafield workers have returned to work today following sympathy wildcat strikes. The contractors, none of whom, are directly employed by Sellafield, walked out in protest at 650 workers being sacked at the Lindsey Oil Refinery in North Lincolnshire.
Gary Stockton, Senior organisor for the Unite union at Sellafield, said talks betweek Total which runs the refinery, and workers’ unions, have now been launched as a result of the strike action taken at Sellafield and other plants.
The 900 Sellafield workers were due to hold another meeting today to discuss striking for the rest of the week, but al action has now been called off pending further news from the Lindsey talks.
Mr Styockton said “We have returned to work. There will be no mass meeting pending talks in London tomorrow. I believe that the sympathy strikes were the reason the talks went ahead. As you know, Total were refusing to talk to unions.”
The strike action involved welders, electricians, platers and pipe fitters from the Unite and GMB unions. The 650 Lindsey workers were fired after taking unofficial strike action last week. That dispute flared when a contractor laid off 51 workers while another employer was hiring staff at the plant.
A spokesperson said the action did not involve the majority of the 12,000 workers at the site, most of whom are employed directly by Sellafield. Speaking today a spokesman from Sellafield Ltd said: “They have all come back to work this morning. They have said that they are going to have a meeting at 11am but we think it is going to be called off now. We have not heard back from them.”
North West Evening Mail, p2, Wednesday 24 June 2009