Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/577/7213

From The Socialist newspaper, 29 April 2009

Olympics site demo 6 May

Olympics: Defend jobs, pay and conditions

The London and South East construction branch of Unite have organised a protest at the Olympic construction site in east London on 6 May.
The protest is to ensure that all workers on the Olympic site are on trade union-negotiated terms and conditions.
The bosses at this and other major construction sites are constantly trying to undermine these agreements and employ people on much lower rates and worse working conditions.
The strike at the Lindsey oil refinery site earlier this year, supported by construction workers on many other sites, proved that this race to the bottom can be stopped and pay and working conditions can be protected.
Keith Gibson speaking at meeting on lessons of the Lindsey oil refinery strike, photo Paul Mattsson

Keith Gibson speaking at meeting on lessons of the Lindsey oil refinery strike, photo Paul Mattsson

Ever since the Lindsey oil refinery (LOR) strike supported by walk-outs across 22 other construction sites, Socialist Party supporters have been calling for a one day industry-wide national stoppage and march on parliament. Hats off to the London lads for organising this protest.

Keith Gibson, LOR

Our action is to force the employers to include all engineering construction sites and jobs under the NAECI national agreement. And to force the government to withdraw from or amend the EU directives and court rulings that legalise the bosses' exploitation of cheap foreign non-union labour to the exclusion of local unionised workers.

Our trade union leaders have been dragging their feet for months, in fact for years. They use the Tory anti-trade union laws, which New Labour have kept, as an excuse for inaction. Yet these laws were swept away by the unofficial strikes three months ago. We must demand that our unions call an official ballot for national strike action, including workers on repair and maintenance. If the employers go to court for an injunction, we should defy the unjust ruling-class laws.

But we can't wait any longer for our so-called leaders. LOR, BP Dimlington, and other sites are taking strike action to support the demonstration on 6 May. This demo must be the starting point for an industry-wide one day strike. We need to build an unofficial shop stewards' network across all the sites to co-ordinate future action.

Trade unions need to increase efforts to unionise foreign workers like at Grain and Staythorpe which have exposed subcontractors paying wages and conditions outside the national agreement. Ideally we want, with construction trade unions on the continent, to force a Europe-wide agreement that stops this wage-cutting 'race to the bottom'.

But New Labour has proved it's a bosses' government and the EU is a bosses' Europe. Workers need a political alternative. 200 construction workers on Staythorpe pickets have signed petitions to stop our unions funding Labour and in favour of a new workers' party. That's why myself, John McEwan and others are standing as candidates for the RMT union-led left alternative in the European elections, No2EU-Yes to Democracy.

The Socialist spoke to Owen Morris, one of the South East construction worker activists who called for the demonstration at the Olympic site.

"Back in March, the London and South East activists' meeting called for this demonstration. We picked the Olympics site because after the LOR and wildcat strikes, there's been a media black out and this is the most high profile job in the world.

It was sold to East Londoners on the grounds of regenerating the local economy, yet unemployed local labour is being excluded and only a handful of apprenticeships have begun.

Cheap labour is being imported outside of national industry agreements. This protest is not against foreign workers, we welcome them, but not as slave labour being paid no more than the minimum wage. The government just want to cut costs by keeping the wage bill down. We want a level playing field, and that's got to be levelling up to our rates, not this 'race to the bottom'.

We've had the bare minimum support from the union officials. It's too much of a hot potato for them. We think Gordon Brown told the unions not to embarrass him on his prestige project. So we've had to organise it ourselves, but the pressure from the lads has forced them to stop ignoring us and put buses on.

After 6 May, we need to keep up the protests at Staythorpe and Grain, and if need be more national action till we win.

This country needs change. We need someone to defend the rights of working people. The New Labour Party has lost trace of all its roots, now they're just conservatives with a red tie on."

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


In The Socialist 29 April 2009:

Fight for jobs!

Youth Fight for Jobs launch conference

Olympics: Defend jobs, pay and conditions


Socialist Party election campaign

European elections: Build support for a workers' alternative to Labour


Stop Press

STOP PRESS: Key union activist sacked


Socialist Party workplace news

Sacked workers protest in Newcastle


Socialist Party news and analysis

Budget 2009 - debts passed to all of us

Does the 'botch it' budget benefit young people?

It's tough at the top!

Jack Jones obituary


International socialist news and analysis

Workers' internationalism: A history of the first four socialist international organisations

Sri Lanka war: Rajapakse regime ignores Tamils' plight in renewed army offensive


NUT feature

National Union of Teachers conference: Fighting "teaching-on-the-cheap"

Hands off Lewisham Bridge school!

Being a new teacher - a shock to the system


 

Home   |   The Socialist 29 April 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Jobs:

triangleCarillion and the construction industry

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

trianglePlans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleRBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

triangleRoyal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

Olympics:

triangleInvest in grassroots sports needs

triangleWould you call G4S for help over discrimination?

triangleBarcelona 1936: the people's Olympics

triangleFilm review: Eddie the Eagle

Construction:

triangleFerrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

triangleCarillion crisis: demand action to save jobs and services

triangleSupport the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

Protest:

triangleVictory! Trump's UK visit cancelled by fear of protests

triangleNewham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

London:

triangleSudan: Free Mohamed Satti

Unite:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Construction workers:

triangleUnite day of action against blacklisting

Strike:

triangleRMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

Labour:

triangleCarlisle debate: The way forward - Socialism or Social Democracy?

Unions:

triangleAppeal from Iranian independent unions

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

22/1/18

Sudan

Sudan: Free Mohamed Satti

22/1/18

London

Women rally defiantly

22/1/18

Obituary

Red Mary - a Force of Nature

17/1/18

Women

Socialist Party women's meeting brings together members to share experiences

17/1/18

Newham

Packed Newham meeting against academies

17/1/18

Liverpool

Lobby pushes Liverpool council to oppose privatisation

17/1/18

Barking

Heating scandal on east London estate

17/1/18

Policing

Undercover policing legal challenge

17/1/18

Woolwich

No to the Woolwich monster block

17/1/18

Union

Workplace news in brief

17/1/18

Union

PCS union 2018 elections - nominate the left slate for a continued fighting leadership

17/1/18

Hackney

Hackney school cleaners strike

17/1/18

RMT

RMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

17/1/18

Yorkshire

Ferrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

17/1/18

Cuts

We must fight all council cuts!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle22 Jan Women rally defiantly

triangle22 Jan Red Mary - a Force of Nature

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

More ...

triangle23 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangle23 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangle24 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

triangle24 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

2017

2016

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

V2