UK refinery workers strike over safety concerns
13 November 2014
On November 13 striking workers returned to work at a North Lincolnshire oil refinery after three days of industrial action. Around 450 contract employees walked out of the Humber Refinery in South Killingholme on November 10 claiming safety concerns. Their action followed a gas leak the previous week in which two people were taken to hospital.
The plant's owners, Phillips 66, said it would hold meetings with staff and the managers of contract companies. A spokeswoman for the company said it would "engage in open and honest dialogue to address any concerns outstanding and will work to reach a satisfactory conclusion".
Phillips 66 confirmed there had been a small gas release on a unit during some routine maintenance work at the Humber Refinery.
In a statement, the company said: "Our emergency response team responded and the county ambulance was called. As a precaution two contractors were taken to the local county hospital who were later released to return to work. We are investigating the cause of the release. Operations were not interrupted."
The company employs 1,000 contractors and 750 staff. Mechanical engineers, scaffolders, welders and pipe-fitters are among the workers that have walked out. The GMB union said between 500 and 600 men had walked off the site.
"All we want is a reassurance that the site is safe and some safety issues addressed. Unfortunately, the employer has failed to do that and because of that the men reacted,” a union spokesperson said.
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