Unite has overturned a temporary injunction preventing it from picketing Eastham Oil Refinery at Ellesmere Port as part of its dispute with Suttons Tankers.

Thirty drivers and fitters for Suttons Tankers, based at the refinery, have been on strike since the 19 January over proposed changes to their employment that the union claims would see their pay cut.

Last month the refinery gained a temporary injunction preventing a picket at the entrance to the lorry park at the site but this was successfully challenged by Unite last week (1 February).

Attacking Eastham’s actions, Unite regional officer Colin Carr said of the dispute itself with the operator: “Although Sutton Tankers has made a slightly improved offer this has been rejected by the workforce as it in no way meets the expectations of the workforce, who still face sweeping cuts in pay.

“We urge the management at Sutton tankers to make a vastly improved offer in order to ensure that we can return to the negotiating table.

“Unite remains ready and willing to meet Sutton Tankers at any time in order to resolve this dispute."

Unite has previously described the proposed changes as necessary to remain competitive and to protect jobs in the long-term.

The company had not responded to a request for comment as this article was published.