Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/565/6851

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 February 2009

Lindsey refinery: workers show their strength

Strikes repel attacks on jobs and conditions

Lindsey refinery: workers show their strength, photo Keith Gibson

Lindsey refinery: workers show their strength, photo Keith Gibson

Shades of the miners' strike - mass protests, car park meetings, loud hailers that don't work. Not so much flying pickets as flying texts and emails leading to spontaneous unofficial walkouts and 'illegal' strike action. The anti-trade union laws have been brushed aside without a thought.

Alistair Tice, Yorkshire Socialist Party, reporting from the Lindsey refinery strike

Each day brings news of more power plants and construction sites walking out. There's a feeling of: "We must strike while the iron's hot. Enough is enough. If we don't win this we'll be signing on for the rest of our lives."

Out of the frenzy of activity comes improvisation and initiative. National trade union leaders who were secretly holed up in a four-star hotel were tracked down and forced to accept strike committee representation in any negotiations.

So far we can't make direct contact with the Italian workers that have been bussed in and accommodated on a barge in Grimsby dock, rumoured to be a prison ship. They are fenced in by security. The strikers need to reach these workers and leaflets have been produced in Italian.

But an Italian TV station did an interview with strike committee members which will go out in Italy and be seen by the Italian workers on the ship.

There's massive anger against the companies like Total and subcontractors Jacobs and IREM. There's anger against the EU and their directives and court rulings but mostly against Gordon "Thatcher" and "On yer bike" Mandelson.

There's a real sense of betrayal by Labour. The BNP have been bounced off from this site and not been back. Yes, there are one or two union jacks and Brown's promise of "British jobs for British workers" is reflected in some home-made hand bills. But nearly all the strikers will tell you it's not about the foreign workers, it's about the national agreement. It's about jobs, pay and conditions, about trade union strength and stopping this race to the bottom.

Lindsey refinery: workers show their strength, photo Keith Gibson

Lindsey refinery: workers show their strength, photo Keith Gibson

The Lindsey oil refinery strike committee issued a call on Monday 2 February to spread the strike into an all-out strike to force the government and employers to concede the demands.

In the first meeting with the strike committee, Total said there would be no negotiations until the strike was called off and the workers returned to work. 48 hours later, on 4 February, they capitulated.

They initially conceded that UK workers could have 60 (40 skilled, 20 unskilled) workers on the IREM contract.

In addition some other concessions were promised. Socialist Party member Keith Gibson recommended rejection of the company's proposals to a mass meeting on behalf of the strike committee. The meeting discussed them for half an hour and overwhelmingly rejected them as not enough.

The company then made an offer which means half the jobs will be filled by UK workers, parity with IREM's own workforce. They have also agreed that all the workers will be paid according to the national agreement. The unions will be able to see the details, so they can ensure that national agreements are being complied with.

No Italian workers will be laid off, only 100 of whom are in Lindsey as yet. All the Italian workers are a core workforce for IREM so will still be employed by them.

So, as The Socialist goes to press, the strikers could be on the verge of a significant victory. The new proposals will be recommended by the strike committee to a mass meeting on 5 February.

But the strike committee know this is only the beginning of the campaign nationally. There's a meeting of the national shop stewards forum on 9 February to plan where to go from here. There's already a big demand for at least a march on parliament.

Socialist Party members and supporters have influenced the strike around a clear set of demands:

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 4 February 2009:


Lindsey refinery

Lindsey refinery: workers show their strength

Firm strike leadership gains results

Organising real trade unionism

Response from Italy

Staythorpe power station: "It's all about money"

The diary of a striker

Striking at Fiddlers Ferry


Socialist Party youth and students

United action needed to save education

Youth Fight for Jobs campaign

Gaza protests: Police attacks show stewarding vital

May Day: Lords judgement backs police


Socialist Party campaigns

Corus steal jobs: Workers must fight back

Weather chaos exposes cutbacks

Car industry bailout plan

Wirral: Stop the cuts and closures

Fast news

Liverpool: Far right BNP exposed


International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka: Stop the slaughter!

Sri Lanka: Thousands trapped in war zone

France: millions strike against Sarkozy's policies

Economic crisis - cracks appear in the bosses' EU

Iceland: Devastated by global crisis


Marxist analysis: history

Lessons of the Jarrow Crusade: no return to the 1930s!


 

Facebook   Twitter



Home   |   The Socialist 4 February 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop






Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter



Related links:

Construction workers:

triangleStop the Crossrail sackings!

triangleProtest wins reinstatement of Crossrail worker

triangleReports from the NSSN bulletin

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleWorkers' Memorial Day: strike for safety

Refinery:

triangleWhat recovery? Thousands more jobs axed

triangleOil Refinery workers protest

triangleNo to job losses at Coryton

triangleCoryton refinery workers protesting on Monday

Lindsey:

triangleConstruction workers strike to defend agreements

triangleLindsey refinery fire death: inquiry needed

triangleSuccessful meeting to defend Teeside Corus jobs

Strike:

triangleICO staff on strike for fair pay

triangleFirefighters' strike and demo

Jobs:

Construction:

trianglePower station builders walk out over blacklisting

Italy:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Workers' struggles in Italy

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

3/3/15

PCS

Bulletin of Socialist Party members in PCS

3/3/15

London

London Socialist Party marks International Women's Day

2/3/15

London

Stop the Crossrail sackings!

26/2/15

Unite

Discussion in United Left on stance in general election

26/2/15

Cheshire

ICO staff on strike for fair pay

26/2/15

Black

TUSC PPC launches Operation Black Vote

25/2/15

Leicester

Campaign news in brief

25/2/15

Grimsby

Nine-fold growth for Grimsby Socialists

25/2/15

May Day

May Day greetings: Implacable resolve of lowest paid

25/2/15

Greenwich

How to strike against privatisation

25/2/15

Usdaw

Left scares Usdaw leadership in elections

25/2/15

Appeal

Election appeal: Funded by you - not by big business

25/2/15

Kent

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

25/2/15

Bristol

Bristol Greens back 'shocking' austerity policies

25/2/15

FBU

Firefighters' strike and demo

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

triangle2 Mar Stop the Crossrail sackings!

triangle26 Feb Discussion in United Left on stance in general election

triangle26 Feb ICO staff on strike for fair pay

'Cash for access' scandal shows MPs still have their snouts in the trough, cartoon Alan Hardman

triangle25 Feb Kick out corrupt politicians

Fighting the cuts in Tower Hamlets, East London

triangle25 Feb Councils at breaking point: the strategy to fight back

Malcolm X, 12 March 1964, photo Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Ed Ford, World Telegram staff photographer

triangle25 Feb 50 years on: the assassination of Malcolm X

triangle25 Feb Firefighters' strike and demo

More ...

triangle5 Mar Southwark Socialist Party: Journalism

triangle5 Mar Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Women and the fight against austerity

triangle5 Mar York Socialist Party: UKIP and the issue of immigration

triangle7 Mar Lewisham Socialist Party: Eleanor Marx commemoration

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice