Oil dispute set to come to an end

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The Independent Online

The bitter dispute by contract workers which has led to wildcat strikes at power stations and refineries across the country is set to come to an end tomorrow after a deal was agreed to resolve the row over jobs.

Hundreds of workers will hold a mass meeting outside the Lindsey oil refinery in North Lincolnshire tomorrow morning and will be recommended by union officials to accept the agreement which was thrashed out during marathon talks last week.

The workers have been on unofficial strike for weeks after complaining that 51 employees were being laid off at Lindsey, which is owned by energy giant Total, while other contractors on the site were hiring staff.

Thousands of workers across Britain took sympathy strike action in support of the Lindsey workers at up to 15 sites.

Phil Whitehurst, a senior shop steward from the GMB union drew huge crowds at the Glastonbury festival in Somerset this weekend when he spoke about the dispute.

He linked up with a group campaigning against Total in Burma and handed over a cheque for £500 on behalf of the UK trade union movement.

Mr Whitehurst said he expected the Lindsey workers to accept the deal and march back into work tomorrow morning.

Unions said they had achieved their objective of finding other jobs for the 51 workers as well as rescinding dismissal notices sent to 647 employees at the site who have been on strike.

The unions have also won a guarantee of no victimisation against workers across the country who took sympathy action.