Coryton refinery workers stage jobs protest


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The Independent Online

Workers at an oil refinery facing closure will stage a demonstration outside a Government department today ahead of a meeting to discuss their future.

Unite has attacked moves to start laying off workers from the Coryton refinery in Essex, saying it was still possible that a buyer could be found for the site, which went into administration in January after its parent company, Swiss-based Petroplus, collapsed.

A number of workers will stage a protest outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change, where Energy Minister Charles Hendry will meet union officials and local politicians later today.

Unite national officer Linda McCulloch said: "Unite will be asking for an update at the meeting on any bid that is on the table to safeguard Coryton and the 850 jobs under threat. We have called for short-term state aid to tide over Coryton until a viable purchaser is found.

"The Coryton workers are demonstrating outside DECC to drive home the message that the refinery can have a viable future if the necessary political will is there. The closure of the plant would be a disaster for the workforce and the surrounding local economy."

About 180 jobs will be cut next week at the refinery, its administrators have announced.