Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Friday, 26 June 2009 11:35 UK

Sympathy strikers vote to return

Wilton protest
Sympathy walkouts took place across the UK

Hundreds of workers in Teesside and Cumbria who walked out in support of sacked oil refinery strikers have voted to return to work.

More than 1,000 contractors building the Ensus wheat refinery in Wilton and 200 workers at Sellafield stopped work earlier this week.

The Sellafield contractors are now back at work and the Ensus workers will return on Monday.

It comes after a deal was agreed at Lindsey refinery in Lincolnshire.

The Lindsey workers first withdrew their labour on 11 June, in protest at a sub-contractor axing 51 jobs while another employer on the site was hiring people.

It looks like we've got everything we wanted and the workers in Lincolnshire are being reinstated
George Maiden, Ensus protestor

A week later, the refinery's owners Total sacked 647 workers for taking part in the action, sparking wildcat protests around the UK.

At their height, more than 1,100 contractors at Ensus and 900 at Sellafield walked out in support.

But on Friday morning, following talks between union leaders and contract staff at Lindsey, an agreement was reached to end the bitter dispute.

Following the announcement, Ensus protestor George Maiden said: "We got feedback about the deal in Lincolnshire and there was a unanimous decision to go back to work on Monday.

"It looks like we've got everything we wanted and the workers in Lincolnshire are being reinstated."

A spokesman for Ensus said the company was not associated with the Lindsey workers and there had been no issue or dispute at Wilton.

"Every day of strike action was a day lost and we cannot recover those," he added.

Sellafield Ltd expressed disappointed with the unofficial action, but said safety and security at the nuclear reprocessing plant had not been affected.



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