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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 April 2011

Saltend lock-out

National strike needed to defend rights

The Socialist has previously reported on the over 400 engineering construction workers who have been locked out from a site at BP Saltend, near Hull. The weeks-long lock-out results from a dispute over company attacks on the construction workers' national agreement (NAECI). On 10 April, at arbitration service ACAS talks, main contractor Vivergo refused to talk to union officials representing the locked out Redhall workers, unless they called off the daily protests at the plant.

Alistair Tice

The next day, Monday 11 April, Vivergo got their answer when Redhall workers blockaded the gates, then invaded and closed the site, and later blocked the roundabout causing traffic to tail-back miles to the city centre.

Whilst the call for solidarity strike action at other construction sites on 6 April did not come off, delegations joined the protest at the gates from West Burton, Conoco, LOR and Drax, and the Teesside lads picketed ICI Wilton causing three to four mile tailbacks.

And in a show of solidarity, the Interserve and Doosan repair and maintenance workers at BP Saltend refused to cross dispute lines and stayed out all week. Also the electricians and scaffolders who had been put on "gardening leave" for four weeks refused to cross on Thursday and Friday when called back to work. Employers are now threatening sackings of those standing in solidarity with Redhall workers.

BP, who have a 40% stake in Vivergo, have their company AGM in London on 14 April. Coachloads of locked out workers are going to protest. As one Redhall worker put it: "The 'little men' are going down to London to show them who's boss".

The trade unions must make it clear that if any other worker is sacked as a result of this action, then the whole industry will be brought to a halt. We cannot allow victimisation of workers taking basic trade union solidarity action.

Pressure from below has finally forced an emergency (after six weeks!) National Engineering Construction Committee (NECC) stewards' meeting to be called for Monday 18 April in Leeds specifically to discuss the Vivergo/Redhall lock-out.

This meeting must take the bull by the horns. The lock-out is a blatant attack on the NAECI agreement and TUPE [transfer of employment] rights. If Redhall workers are not re-employed, then this will give the green light to all employers to attack and sack other construction workers.

The NECC must name the day for a national stoppage of all NAECI sites. Stewards at all sites should invite Redhall workers to mass meetings to explain what's really happened and dispel the myths and rumours that have been circulating. This will prepare the way for a successful national strike which should be extended if the employers don't back off and re-employ the Redhall workers.

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In The Socialist 13 April 2011:


Anti-cuts campaigning

NHS IN THE FIRING LINE

Vote socialist to fight the cuts

Fight the cuts by supporting TUSC

Fighting the cuts after 26 March demo

Hands off our services - Westminster

Hands off our Services - Leeds


Socialist Party editorial

Middle East and North Africa


Socialist Party feature

Con-Dems' economic policy... austerity, austerity, austerity!


Socialist Party workplace news

Jobcentre Plus call centre strike

Saltend lock-out

Unison health conference

NUJ conference calls for general strike

Striking against a Coventry academy

NSSN conference


International socialist news and analysis

Portugal:'We won't pay their debt!'

'Unions and socialism to blame for deficit' - rants Glenn Beck


Youth Fight for Jobs

Jarrow jobs march gains momentum


Socialist Party news and analysis

Coordinated strike action to defeat the cuts

Banking giants avoid punishment

No to nuclear power - nationalise the environment-unfriendly energy giants

News of the World admits it

Chauvinist 'thoughts' from David Willetts


 

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