- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
First Minister Carwyn Jones says Murco workers “will be heard,” as talks continue over the sale of the Milford Haven oil refinery.
At Assembly question time on Tuesday (1 July), Joyce Watson AM welcomed the agreement in principle between Murphy Oil and oil entrepreneur Gary Klesch.
However, the Labour AM for Mid and West Wales stressed the importance of trade union involvement, as negotiations go forward. She said:
“First Minister, I want to reiterate people’s delight at news of the breakthrough sale, although it has not been completed, of the Murco oil refinery and what that really means to the economy of the area. I recognise that there is an awful lot of work to do, but I also want to recognise the part that everyone has played in getting to where we are. The special taskforce that was set up by the Welsh Government has helped, in no small measure, to secure a deal.
“Can you give assurances that those people who are currently around the table, particularly the trade union membership, will still be around the table as we go through the negotiation process and that their voices will be heard.”
Mr Jones said he could not discuss details of the deal, for reasons of “commercial confidentiality”. He assured Mrs Watson that “the voice of the workforce” would be heard:
“It is important, of course, that the voice of the workforce is heard. Again, I have to say to the Member that things have moved forward one step in the right direction, but there is much work to be done yet, particularly with regard to the due diligence checks that one would expect.
“There is also a need to ensure that the Treasury input up until now is maintained.”
News of the potential sale will come as a huge relief to the more than 400 workers at the closure-threatened plant. Refineries in Europe are under pressure from foreign competition, together with high crude prices and relatively weak demand.