02 February 2009

Mandy’s statement is meaningless and correct, but….

Mandy's statement on the Lyndsey oil refinery row is meaningless but correct.

Total, which owns the refinery, said:

It is legal for sub-contractors to supply their own employees but where vacancies are advertised we will be working with our sub-contractors to ensure that British workers are considered in the same way as anyone else.

There is nothing more to this statement than is the law and what would possibly be in the contractual documents.  Clearly Total put out the above after political pressure.  My guess, without actually seeing the contacts, is that there is no clause which obligates the contractor to consult Total about staff, nor where they come from, with the possible exception for whose individuals who directly report to the client.

Therefore what Mandy has said is technically correct:

This should give full reassurance to people who are understandably concerned about jobs that there will be no policy of discrimination against British companies, and where vacancies are advertised at these plants, British workers will be free to apply. I welcome this statement. It establishes the facts and makes it clear that British law will be fully upheld.

However what this cannot do is give any reassurance that British works will get work, in spite of the fact he said it.  Politically Mandy knows he has the unions over a barrel because the strike action is illegal.

The danger for the Government is that the strikes will snowball.  But unless the contracts are renegotiated to favour British workers, which would be unlawful, there is no assurance that British Jobs are for British workers.

This situation has been caused by fear for jobs, resentment and Brown’s ridiculous statement.

PS. It would be good to know if anyone has the contract details?

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