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Total 'encouraging' dispute talks as mass protests continue

French oil giant Total has said it is “actively encouraging” talks between contractors and workers in the dispute over jobs on its North Lincolnshire oil refinery project.

Mass protests have continued today after almost 650 contract staff working on a construction project at the refinery were sacked last week by firms working for Total.

The workers were handed dismissal letters and given until yesterday to reapply for their jobs after a week of unofficial industrial action.

The protests follow wildcat strikes at the same site earlier this year over the use of foreign labour.

It said: “Total is actively encouraging talks to be opened between its contractors and the unions about how to facilitate the return to work of its contracting companies’ former workforces.”

But the GMB union has said it knows nothing of the proposed talks.

The strike continued today, with banners expressing support for the workers erected in a car park outside the plant.