The Lindsey oil refinery dispute looks like it is descending into farce.
I’m sure that Total, the owners of the site, are exasperated by some of the wild cat strikes that have taken place in the last six months – they’re not on. Yet the idea that Total can resolve the matter by refusing to talk to the entirely reasonable General Secretary of the GMB union, Paul Kenny, is ridiculous. And to sack workers – a lock out – will simply escalate the dispute to a scale that I suspect Total have not anticipated.
Partnership is always better than industrial strife. And one thing is for certain. If Total and their contractors, Jacobs, refuse to talk, they’re in for a long and protracted dispute where no-one will win.
They should pick up the phone to ACAS today.