Petition calls on PM to step in and save Murco refinery

First published in News

UNION workers are calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to step in and save Milford Haven’s beleaguered Murco oil refinery – before hundreds of local jobs are lost.

As American owners Murphy Oil struggle to find a buyer, members of Unite - the trade union which represents Murco – have started a petition calling on the UK Government to ‘take action to save’ the refinery.

Allan Card, Unite Wales officer said: “If the refinery were to be let go it would have massive impact not just on the jobs of those employed there but on the local community and economy as a whole."

Contributing around £30 million a year to the local economy, Murco employs around 400 staff and a further 200 outside contractors.

Speaking on Monday, Preseli-Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb said he had met with Unite members at the refinery, and they were ‘working as hard as anyone to see a positive outcome’.

But, he warned that ‘no-one should be under any illusions about the difficulties that lie ahead’.

"Discussions with potential buyers of the refinery are at a critical moment.

“Over the last two weeks my main objective has been to get these investors in front of both UK and Welsh Government ministers for discussions on what it is going to take for a deal to happen. Those meetings have now happened."

"Both governments in London and Cardiff know that a business-led solution is the only sustainable outcome for the refinery and we are working incredibly hard to create the right conditions for that to happen.”

“No-one believes that conversion to just an import terminal is the right way forward. There are too many jobs at stake, said Mr Crabb.

“I still believe that Murphy, the parent company in the States, holds the key to unlocking a deal. But their intentions are hard to read."

At Assembly question time on Tuesday, April 29, Mid and West Wales AM Joyce Watson asked what progress has been made since the high-level task force – set up to help secure the future of the refinery - was created on April 11.

Government minister Lesley Griffiths said the task force, led by Lord Nick Bourne, chair of the Milford Haven enterprise zone board, would update members with its progress “as appropriate”.

To sign the petition, visit www.unitetheunion.org and search ‘Save Milford Haven oil refinery’.

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