A protest regarding the hiring of staff members from outside the United Kingdom has led many workers at oil refineries across the country to walk out during this week. Workers at the Forties Pipeline System, which is owned by BP and the St Fergus gas plant which is owned by Royal Dutch Shell are participating in strikes along with the workers at Total plants. Several contract workers also chose to strike at a power station in Cheshire which is owned by Scottish & Southern.
Strikers came together in Lindsey to ask the government to protect their jobs from foreign workers. The unemployment rates are increasing rapidly and many contractors are worried that they will be out of a job before too long. At the Total plant, workers from outside of the UK were told to remain at home as the strike continued. It is estimated that around 600 contractors from the plant were a part of the strike.
In response to the striking workers, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, said “I understand people’s anxieties about their jobs. The action we’ve taken to help people in work to stay in work, to help people who lose their jobs to get new jobs, to help young people to get skills, it’s the right way to deal with that.”
Meetings are are currently underway to resolve the complaints that have been raised by the striking workers. Some of the oil companies are experiencing lower output due to the strike but some, including BP, report that operations are continuing as usual.