By Maximilian Clarke

The union representing workers of the stricken Coryton fuel refinery in Essex has said that it is in constant dialogue with the Pertoplus, the plant’s owners, and the UK government in order to safeguard up to 1,000 jobs.

The refinery, which is owned by Swiss-based Petroplus, supplies 20% of the fuel supply for the South East of England. Petroplus announced this morning (Tuesday) that is was filing for insolvency for the refinery, placing some 1,000 jobs at risk.

Unite will meet the workforce on Thursday to update them on the situation.

Speaking this morning, Linda McCulloch, Unite's national officer, said: "1,000 jobs are at risk but we firmly believe that joint action by the owners and government can help secure the business. We are in constant dialogue with Petroplus and its Swiss owners, and the UK government about solutions to these developments.

"We are stressing to the workers that their interests are our absolute priority. It is vital that these negotiations are conducted in an atmosphere of calm to allow the best buyer to be found for the site."

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