Essex: Protesters call for Government action to save oil refinery

CAMPAIGNERS hoping to save jobs at an Essex oil refinery today staged a protest amid warnings that its closure could see more than �100million drained from the economy.

More than 100 people demonstrated outside the Coryton refinery, where almost 1,000 workers face losing their jobs.

The Unite union called on ministers to follow the example of the French government and give state aid to keep Coryton running until a buyer can be found.

Thurrock council has commissioned an economic impact assessment on the closure or change of use of the site, which found it would cost the economy �30m in wages, �26m in contractor costs, �6m in locally sourced materials, �40m spent on chemicals and utilities, and �5m in business rates.

Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “The economic impact and human cost of Coryton’s closure will be massive. The Government cannot continue to sit on its hands and allow livelihoods to be destroyed.

“Over �100m could be drained from the local and national economy, as well as the UK’s refining capacity being undermined. Today’s protest shows that the workers, who have kept the site running, feel let down and angry by the Government’s failure to intervene.”