The protests that began at a Lindsey oil refinery have since sparked the need for a review of the construction industry in the UK and the skill shortages that might be found there. Several contract workers went on strike at sites around the UK to protest at what was considered to be the unfair and preferential treatment of foreign workers. Now the Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, has said he wants to ensure that UK workers are well equipped with the skills they might need to keep UK jobs in their hands.
The review of the construction industry will be handled by Mark Gibson who is a member of the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. Many government officials have said that a great number of UK contractors need to improve their productivity levels in order to obtain contracts not only in Britain but in other parts of Europe as well.
The inquiry into the strikes that began a few weeks ago has come to a close. Several unions including the GMP and Unite have said that the foreign contractors employed at the plants around Britain received wages that were less than the minimum and that in addition they were able to work more hours. This made them considerably more attractive to many of the employers and potentially threatened the jobs of British citizens. At one of the Total plants, the strike was settled when they agreed to bring on an additional 102 UK workers.