The Socialist 23 June 2009
Lindsey refinery dispute: Workers show their strength
Support for Lindsey Oil Refinery workers
Protests at Fiddlers Ferry
On 18 June, about 140 contract workers, a mix of Unite and GMB members, mounted a protest from 6.45am onwards on the approach to Fiddlers Ferry power station.
A Warrington trades council delegate
The next day a couple of lads spoke to all those driving into the site and some turned round there and then. Others went in, held a meeting and came out around 9am.
Traffic was backed up on the main road for miles each way as the cars queued to turn onto the approach road. Then at about 9.15 text messages came through that Stanlow had walked! The BBC then turned up to film events.
These people are fighting for the very future of trade unionism in the construction industry, at financial cost to themselves and with the threat of blacklisting hanging over the organisers as well.
Warrington trades council supports them all the way and we took a letter stating our support to the protest on Friday. Every union member should support this dispute - if they win it will be tremendous, if they lose it paves the way to a non-union construction industry, on rock bottom wages with non-existent health and safety.
The trades council has been supporting a protest at Fiddlers Ferry by blacklisted electrician Steve Acheson since February and Steve's banners hung on the power station fence behind the protest, as they do every Friday. The BBC filmed Steve's banner which reads "Defend national agreements - trade union rates for all workers".
A GMB member told me: "There's been 150 out in support of LOR. We're all in touch by text and one of the Lindsey lads is over here today. We have to support the Lindsey lads and keep the NAECI Agreements." A Unite member from Lindsey added: "We came over yesterday to put our case and we are very grateful to the lads here for their support."
Cottam power station
When I visited the picket line at Cottam power station in Nottinghamshire, one LOR picket said a policeman had told him he was acting illegally by secondary picketing. He told the policeman that the law was made by tax evaders, fraudsters and swindlers. They had apologised for what they had done and he was apologising too, but he would be back the next day!
Send solidarity messages
On 23 June, hundreds of workers at other big construction sites came out in support of the Lindsey workers. For example, there were 200 pickets at South Hook in Milford Haven, where the shop stewards gave out Socialist Party leaflets.
Workers at Sellafield and Stanlow came out in the north west and 200 were out at the Ratcliffe power station in Nottingham.
These workers need support in their battle with the bosses. Please send solidarity messages to email@example.com with copies to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this issue
Youth fight for jobs
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party news and analysis
Revolution in Iran
Socialist Party statement