Page last updated at 16:33 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 17:33 UK

Plant sympathy strikes continue

Wilton protest
Sympathy walkouts have taken place across the UK

Construction workers at a Teesside biofuels plant are continuing their protest in support of sacked strikers at an oil refinery in Lincolnshire.

More than 1,000 workers building the Ensus wheat refinery in Wilton first walked out on Friday.

On Wednesday they gathered at the plant to voice their anger over the sacking of 647 workers at Lindsey oil refinery.

About 900 Sellafield contract workers returned on Wednesday but then 100 walked out again in the afternoon.

The contract workers at Sellafield in Cumbria - employed on various construction projects - returned to the site after a sympathy walkout since Monday.

But in the afternoon, about 100 workers decided to go out again.

A Sellafield Ltd spokesman said the action would have no impact on safety, security or nuclear production.

All of the 1,100 workers who withdrew their labour at Ensus on Friday remain on strike, according to protester George Maiden.

It's hard for a lot of people but it's just something we've got to do
Protester George Maiden

He said: "We've had no resolution to the problem down at Lindsey Oil so it's just continuing and I think it's going to continue until we get some resolution.

"We're not getting paid for being out here, and no-one wants to lose money but we're looking at the long-term picture.

"If the government get their own way we're going to be working for a lot less money and we're not going to have any decent terms and conditions.

"It's hard for a lot of people but it's just something we've got to do."

An Ensus spokesman said he hoped work would resume "as soon as possible."

Chief executive officer Alwyn Hughes said: "Every day of strike action is a day lost and we cannot recover it."

He stressed that Ensus was not associated with the Lindsey workers, and there was no dispute at Wilton.

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.

Just over a week later, Total announced that 647 construction workers had been sacked for taking part in unofficial strikes.

Since then, walkouts have taken place around the UK in sympathy with the sacked workers.

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