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11 June 2012
There were protests outside Coryton oil refinery this morning amid warnings that its closure could see over £100 million drained from the economy.
Over a hundred people, including Unite members and Labour MEP, Richard Howitt, braved the weather to stage a demonstration outside the threatened refinery.
They then descended on Corringham town centre to leaflet and gain the support of local businesses. The demonstration and community action followed warnings from the leader of Thurrock council that the economic impact of the refinery's closure would be huge. Nearly 1,000 people working at Coryton face losing their jobs, if the closure goes ahead.
Britain's largest union, Unite called on the government to follow the example of the French government and act in the national interest by giving state aid to keep Coryton running until a buyer can found. Thurrock council commissioned an economic impact assessment on the closure or change of use of the site. Initial indications point to the loss of £30 million in wages, £26 million in contractor costs, £6 million in locally sourced materials, as well as £40 million spent on chemicals and utilities, plus £5 million in business rates.
Commenting, 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 £100 million 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.”