Socialist Worker

Coryton oil workers call refinery protests for Monday

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2308

Workers at the threatened Coryton oil refinery near Basildon, Essex, have called three emergency demonstrations for 1pm on Monday of next week.

More than 800 workers could be made redundant under plans to close Coryton and replace it with an oil-importing terminal running a much smaller workforce.

The Monday demonstrations are timed to coincide with the first redundancies kicking in.

In talks yesterday (Tuesday) the Department for Energy and Climate Change refused to support a bid to keep Coryton open as a refinery.

“Their response was completely hypocritical,” Russ Ball from the Unite union told Socialist Worker.

“They said they couldn’t bail out refineries like they bailed out the banks because they had to leave it to market forces. But why didn’t they leave the banks to market forces?”

Workers held a loud and lively demonstration outside the talks demanding action to save their jobs.

Russ is now putting out a “clarion call” for protests at three oil sites next Monday—the Vopak terminal in Purfleet, Essex, the Grangemouth refinery near Edinburgh and the Lindsey refinery near Hull.

“Time is running out and we need to get as many people to these demos as possible,” he told Socialist Worker. “They are the only bargaining chip we have against the government.”

Russ Ball will be speaking about the dispute at the Unite the Resistance conference in London on Saturday. Go to

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