Oil company slashes staff numbers following unofficial protest after 51 people lost their jobs

Oil and gas company Total has sacked up to 900 workers who were building an oil refinery in Lincolnshire, following unofficial strike action.

Last week, 1,200 workers went on strike after 51 people lost their jobs. The workers said an agreement not to cut jobs had been broken, a claim Total denies.

Unions condemned the move and asked parties to negotiate.

A spokesperson for Unite said: "We are extremely concerned about the ramifications of the employer's actions. We are urging all parties to get back around the negotiating table to resolve this situation."

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB, said that Total had not acted helpfully.

"Total has not tried to resolve this dispute. It sought to escalate it and it has sought to victimise people, he told the BBC. I'm appealing to Total to actually come to the table and help the unions resolve it."

Workers are reportedly gathering outside the refinery to protest.