GMB Accuse Senior Managers Of Provoking The Unofficial Dispute At Lindsay By The Layoff Of Original 51 Workers In Breach Of Agreements

It is clear from what Richard Rowlands told the union that there never was any intention to redeploy these workers despite the company agreeing to do this just a few short weeks ago say GMB

22 Jun 2009

GMB today revealed that two senior managers at Lindsay Oil Refinery site Richard Rowlands and Ian Elliot instructed a contractor on site, R Blackett and Charlton, to hire 61 new workers although they knew that the original contractor Shaw were about to make 51 workers, doing exactly the same jobs, redundant three days later. GMB claim that Richard Rowlands and Ian Elliot did this deliberately in breach of agreements and accuse them of provoking the unofficial disputes in the engineering construction industry.

R Blackett and Charlton were brought on site in spring 2009 to be the employer for the 105 new jobs that were created as part of the ACAS brokered deal in the spring. Laying off these 51 workers is in breach of an agreement by Total and the main contractors Jacobs that no workers on the site would lose their jobs as a consequence of IREM taking over part of the work undertaken by the Shaw workers. It was also in breach of the industry wide agreement whereby the Project Joint Council for Lindsay Oil Refinery site, which is co-chaired by Jacob, organises the movement of labour on the site throughout the life of the project.

The trade unions on the site confronted Richard Rowlands and asked him why Jacobs had not requested that R Blackett and Charlton transfer the 51 Shaw workers across as required by the two agreements referred to above. He replied on the record to the trade union officials that he was not prepared to recommend to R Blackett and Charlton “an unruly workerforce who had taken part in unofficial disputes and who won’t work weekends.”

Phil Davies GMB National Secretary, who will be attending the GMB protest demonstration tomorrow at Lindsay (see notes below), said:

Every stone you uncover on this job you find another management lie. It is clear from what Richard Rowlands told the union that there never was any intention to redeploy these workers despite the company agreeing to do this just a few short weeks ago. It is little wonder that the workforce castigate the company as being dishonest. This is a clear case of victimisation on a par with the notorious industry blacklists.”