Total agrees to reinstate sacked workers in Britain | business | Hindustan Times
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Total agrees to reinstate sacked workers in Britain

business Updated: Jun 26, 2009 16:39 IST
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A deal was struck to end wildcat strikes at oil refineries and power plants across Britain after French energy group Total agreed to reinstate hundreds of sacked contract workers, a union said Friday.

Britain's biggest union, Unite, said the company would reinstate 647 workers at the Lindsey oil refinery in eastern England, who were last week sacked for taking unofficial action in protest at the laying off of 51 employees by a sub-contractor.

"We're pleased that we were able to thrash out a deal which the union can put to the workforce at Lindsey," Unite's assistant head Les Bayliss said in a statement.

"Following hours of detailed negotiations, there has been a significant breakthrough. The proposals for a return to work will be recommended to the workforce by the union's shop stewards at Lindsey on Monday morning.

"The employers have agreed to re-instate all the sacked workers. We welcome the part the employers played in agreeing these proposals," added Bayliss.

Workers began returning even ahead of Monday's vote, according to British news agency the Press Association, which also reported that the 51 sacked sub-contractors would be re-offered their jobs as part of the agreement.

Energy industry workers across Britain had this week rallied in support of the protesters at Lindsey, which was at the centre of a bitter dispute over the use of foreign labour in January.