British workers rally to protest against an influx of foreigners 29 January 2009 – Hundreds of contract workers from Lindsey Oil Refinery, Fabricom and PSN were on strike this morning.
They protest against the Italian firm IREM which preferred to call 400 Italian and Portuguese labourers instead of British workers.
The Italian based company said they will only be employing people from Portugal and Italy as they are "more skilled". French oil giant Total, which runs the site, can hire in from other member states under EU law.
Kenny Wood, senior steward for Unite, speaking on behalf of the protesters, said: “We want to show the Government how discriminatory this particular practice is.
“This is going to force thousands of our members onto the dole. “To say there is a skills shortage has got absolutely no foundation what so ever. We need to exhaust the local labour force first before looking to Europe.”
Mr Wood said that the protesters would return tomorrow and that it would continue “as long as it takes.”
A spokesman for Lindsay oil refinery said the walkout will have absolutely no effect on production.
The spokesman said: "The unit is separate to the main refinery, and as such, this action has not affected the normal operation of the refinery. "The main contractor, Jacobs is currently having discussions with the workers and Union representatives. We hope the situation will be resolved as soon as possible."
A national march to Parliament is being held next Thursday when workers will take their fight to Gordon Brown’s doorstep.