Bosses at Total insist they did not trigger the dispute at the Lindsey refinery. Yet according to the GMB union the company ensured that workers it described as “unruly” were not re-employed.
The union says that senior managers instructed a new contractor to hire 61 workers, knowing that the original contractor was about to lay-off 51 workers who do the same job.
Under an agreement brokered by the conciliation service Acas in the spring, the workers should have been transferred to the new contractor.
But in response to GMB officials, Total’s Richard Rowlands said he was not prepared to recommend “an unruly workforce who had taken part in unofficial disputes and who won’t work weekends”.