Total in desperate bid to resolve Lindsey oil refinery job dispute

TOTAL oil bosses entered into urgent talks with union leaders yesterday as thousands of workers walked out in protest at dismissals at the Lindsey oil refinery. <br /><br />Union officials demanded the French firm reinstate 647 workers at the Lindsey oil terminal in North Lincolnshire. The group was dismissed and told to reapply for their jobs after a week of unofficial strike action. Many burned their dismissal letters in defiance.<br /><br />The union called for guarantees that workers who had taken part in sympathy strikes would not be victimised and said that the 51 contract staff at the centre of the row should be found jobs by Total. The 51 workers were laid off earlier this month while another employer on the Lindsey site was hiring staff.<br /><br />Total said it wanted to resolve the dispute, which has cost it &euro;100m (&pound;85m) and is jeopardising an important construction project.<br /><br />Workers at the Coryton oil refinery in Essex yesterday joined up to 4,000 strikers from power stations and oil and gas sites including Longannet in Scotlan, Aberthaw in south Wales, Sellafield in Cumbria and Didcot in Oxfordshire.