Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/7465
Lindsey Socialist Party Newletter no. 18, 22 June 2009
Supported by Keith Gibson ex LOR strike cttee, Trevor Grewar Hull Amicus/Unite branch chair, John McEwan national stewards forum, Steve Jones LOR steward (all in personal capacities)
ALL OUT FOR 'TOTAL' SHUTDOWN
SOLIDARITY WITH SACKED LINDSEY WORKERS
DEFEND TRADE UNIONISM & NAECI AGREEMENT
By dismissing 647 LOR workers,Total have declared war on trade unionism and the NAECI agreement. This dispute is no longer just about 51 sacked workers, its about the future of our industry. The employers want to break the solidarity of construction workers and smash effective trade unionism so that they can get rid of the national agreement to bring in cheap labour and drive down wages to boost their profits.
We must stand united together to defeat these greedy bosses. They say they won't talk unless we return to work - that's what they said in February, but we forced them to talk. They say we should have an official ballot - but the ECIA are organising to make the ballot illegal! They say we can apply for our jobs back by 5pm today - we won't let them pick and choose. We all came out together, we'll all go back together, together with our 51 comrades.
UNITY IS STRENGTH. WE WILL WIN!
17 SITES HAVE TAKEN SOLIDARITY ACTION
Socialist Party suggestions for taking strike forward:
- Monday morning - burn the dismissal notices
- Organise 24 hour picketing of Total/LOR
- Appeal to tanker drivers and train drivers not to cross
- Continue to send pickets out to spread strike nation-wide
- Tuesday - mass rally outside Lindsey to be attended by workers from all sites on strike, and supporters
- Stewards from all NAECI sites should convene after Tuesday's rally to set up an unofficial shop stewards network
- Call for boycott and blockades of Total petrol stations
- Contact French trade unions at Total in France for support
- Expand the LOR shop stewards cttee into a Strike Cttee to organise - picket rotas, leaflets & placards, press & media, fundraising & hardship fund, trade union support, speakers at meetings, etc.
Messages of support
From Joe Higgins, Member of the European Parliament, The Socialist Party, Dublin , Ireland
"The threatened sacking of 900 Lindsey workers by the Total oil company is an absolute outrage.
As a newly elected MEP I will be raising your case in the European parliament. I would like to add that I will also be calling for the EU directives on 'posted workers' to be withdrawn as soon as possible because they are a licence for European companies to undermine trade union pay and conditions as part of national agreements."
SOLIDARITY FROM SVEN NAESSENS, UNION CONVENOR AT TOTAL, ANTWERP, BELGIUM
"Will give support with email now, leaflet on Monday, and discussion with our management on why you have been sacked. The national trade union secretary has sent emails out to refineries in Belgium."
RAIL, MARITIME & TRANSPORT UNION (RMT) from Alex Gordon (NEC)
"Solidarity to sacked Lindsey workers. We support your cause. Union jobs for trade union members"
MATT WRACK, GENERAL SECRETARY OF FIRE BRIGADES UNION
"Please pass on solidarity greeting to all sacked Lindsey workers from the Fire Brigades Union. Please let us know anything we can do to assist - including financial support, physical support on pickets or whatever is needed. We will circulate any such information throughout the union."
DAVE NELLIST, SOCIALIST PARTY COUNCILLOR in COVENTRY
"Please pass on to your members that we in the Coventry trade union movement will be doing all we can to build support for your campaign for reinstatement."
MESSAGE TO GIBBO FROM YOUNG LOR STRIKER!!
"We'll beat these all day - we'll step it up a gear next week. I'm not giving my life, my kid's life, or my girlfriend's life up for no-one! We'll win together. We'll get a slice of the pie instead of the crumbs they want to take away from us. We will win!"
Plus dozens more...
You are politically motivated - in bed with New Labour!"
Whilst we have had dozens of messages of support from other unions and other countries, Tommy Hardacre, our UNITE national officer, sent an email to regional officers on June 17th asking them to tell shop stewards at other sites not to support LOR's action!
We have also been told by a reliable source that he has alleged that the strike is politically motivated by a socialist party.
Why are you not just repudiating, but working actively against our strike?
Could it be that you, and your boss Derek Simpson, don't want to embarrass your New Labour government? The same New Labour government that hasn't scrapped the Tory anti-trade union laws that force us to take unofficial action. The same New Labour our union gives £millions of members' money to.
How dare you attack Socialist Party who are supporting us when you are stabbing us in the back.
Socialist Party members and supporters have been active in supporting construction workers in this industry for years.
Keith Gibson was a spokesperson for the LOR strike committee in Jan/Feb and John McEwan got a start after threatening to picket out LOR because of Total blacking him.
Our members have been at Staythorpe pickets every week and produced regular newsletters (this is No.18) providing information and making proposals on how to take the struggle forward.
The Socialist has carried weekly reports, including ones by Steve Acheson (Fiddlers Ferry) exposing the industry blacklist and Paul McDowell exposing IREM's lack of health & safety.