MORE than 100 contractors at a Selby district power station have walked out in support of colleagues at an east coast oil refinery.

A spokeswoman for Drax Power Station said about 150 workers with two contractor firms at the plant had yesterday joined the wave of unofficial strike action that began last week at Lindsey oil refinery, in Lincolnshire.

The dispute started with workers protesting at the use of Italian and Portuguese labour at the Total-owned refinery.

The Drax spokeswoman said operations at the power plant had not been affected by yesterday’s walk-out and the contractors were expected back in work today. She said the station’s 700 full-time staff had remained at their posts.

“It’s had a very limited impact on our operations,” she said. “All six units have been working as normal.”

She said the contractors only worked on the generators during periods of lower demand, when one or more of the turbines were not in use. “As we’ve had no major outages, the contractors are working on a wide range of projects, but not on energy generation,” she added.

She said there were about 600 contractors on site at this time of year, rising to about 1,000 during the summer months.

Thousands of workers at refineries and power stations up and down the country have been involved in the wildcat action.

Total insists it is not discriminating against British workers, saying: “We recognise the concerns of contractors but we must stress that it has never been, and never will be, the policy of Total to discriminate against British companies or British workers.”