Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://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:

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


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!


 

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

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Construction workers:

triangleHull construction workers force bosses to shut down site over health and safety fears

triangleHull: Construction workers' walkout forces employer to back down

triangleHull construction workers strike against blacklisting

triangleSocialist Party member Janet Gibson advertising NSSN conference at a protest of steel construction workers outside a Siemans factory in Lincoln (click for report)

Refinery:

triangleFawley refinery canteen strikers tell their employer: "pay up"

triangleFawley strike defeats 'race to bottom' exploitation of migrant workers

triangleFawley refinery strike against 'race to bottom'

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Lessons of the 2009 Lindsey Refinery strike

Lindsey:

triangleTen years since Lindsey strike: when militant action stopped the 'race to the bottom'

triangleSpied on by the state and bosses

triangleWorkers' Memorial Day: strike for safety

Strike:

triangleOppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

triangleIran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes

Jobs:

triangleA-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

Construction:

triangleNo return to unsafe construction sites

Italy:

triangle'Health not profit' strike wave sweeps Italy

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

5/8/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialist day of action

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

5/8/20

Black Lives Matter

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

5/8/20

Hull

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

5/8/20

Young Socialists

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

5/8/20

Caerphilly

GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

5/8/20

Trotsky

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally

5/8/20

BAME

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

5/8/20

Doncaster

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

5/8/20

The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule

5/8/20

Unite

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

5/8/20

BT

Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

5/8/20

Hospital

Sick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999