The UK Government has decided not to provide support for the Coryton refinery with nearly 1000 workers being “kicked in the teeth.”
The Government announced it won’t be applying for state aid from the European Commission after the refinery’s administrators failed to find a buyer for the site.
A Government spokesperson said: “We have come to the conclusion that the existing overcapacity in the refining industry and declining demand for petrol mean that it would not be sustainable.
“If Government did step in to help Coryton, this would be a short-term fix and it could potentially lead to job losses at other refineries who would be at an unfair disadvantage to Coryton.”
However, the Unite union claims the decision was a kick in the teeth to workers. Tony Burke, the Assistant General Secretary said the Government is operating double standards.
He said: “If Coryton had been a bank, you can be sure that ministers would have stepped in with financial assistance immediately.
“This Government operates double standards – they fawn before the financial elite that have brought the economy to its knees, but adopt a hard and heartless stance to working people and the local economy in the Thames estuary.”
Mr Burke suggested the Government should take a short-term measure until a new owner can be found to take over the refinery.
The news comes four days after Coryton workers and the local people in Essex protested against the closure of the refinery.