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Fenham Mag

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Hundreds of workers have walked out at two oil refineries as a protest over the use of foreign labour escalated.


Police said about 800 people from the Lindsey and Conoco Phillips refineries in North Lincolnshire were involved in the unofficial strike.


Staff at Lindsey Oil Refinery walked out on Wednesday when a contractor took on 90 overseas workers.


Total, which owns the plant, said there would be no direct redundancies as a result of the contract being awarded.


The dispute began on Wednesday when 300 workers walked off a construction site at Lindsey Oil Refinery.


The work was won by IREM, an Italian-based contractor, which brought in its own workforce.


A Unite union shop steward, who did not wish to be named, said they were angry that foreigners were being employed by the contractor, Jacobs, at a time when British workers were being laid off.


'No redundancies'


He said hundreds of workers at the neighbouring Conoco Phillips refinery had joined them outside the gates of Lindsey Oil Refinery on Thursday.


He had also received reports of wildcat action at other sites, including the Dimlington and Easington gas terminals in East Yorkshire.


Lindsey Oil Refinery owner Total said its main refining operations on the 500-acre site remained unaffected by the action.


"We recognise the concerns of contractors but it is important to note that there will be no direct redundancies as a result of this contract being awarded," a Total statement said.


"We have been a major local employer for 40 years and have always enjoyed a good relationship with our staff and contractors.


"We are disappointed they have taken this action and we hope the situation will be resolved as soon as possible and the contractors return to work."


'Peaceful' protest


The site on Eastfield Road is the third largest refinery in the country, processing more than 200,000 barrels a day.


It opened 40 years ago to process oil from North Sea wells.


Nobody was available for comment from Conoco Phillips.


Humberside Police said: "At this moment in time there are approximately 800 peaceful protesters at the site.


"Police resources will be in attendance at the site as well as the surrounding area throughout the day.


"I would reassure our local communities that our main aim is to ensure the safety of both local businesses and public as well as those taking part in the protest in order to minimise disruption and to keep traffic flowing."


This demonstration had already affected local traffic with road closures in place at Eastfield Road.


Disgraceful tbh. Remind me of this episode of South Park:



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