Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/565/6856
From The Socialist newspaper, 4 February 2009
The diary of a striker
Colin Trousdale, an unemployed blacklisted electrician, involved in some of the recent protests, sent us a diary of the last few months:
- 30 July. Employed on Ferrybridge power station.
- 31 October. First round of redundancies. Remaining workforce given assurances that their jobs are safe until Christmas and beyond.
- 8 December. A chosen few of redundant workers brought back, 'out of scope' of the agreement, purportedly to do commissioning works.
- 12 December. Made redundant, 'out of scope' workforce doing our work, same situation at Fiddlers Ferry.
- 15 January. Meeting at Haydock with Derek Simpson, general secretary of Unite. He asked us to attend the mass protest at Staythorpe, which was picked to be centre of protest by union leaders.
- 19 January. Set out at 2.30 am to travel to Staythorpe. Arrived 6.15 am in torrential rain. Upwards of 200 protesters and I counted 45 police, plus dogs and horses. They corralled us in on a grass verge at the side of the road. Union officials arrive two hrs 15 minutes late at 8.15 am.
No loudhailer, no platform, no real means of addressing assembled protesters. Thoroughly drenched people tried to leave, only to be prevented by police with dogs. Protest broke up about 8.45 am.
- 28 January. Set out at 2.30 am to travel to Staythorpe. This time union leaders arrived at same time equipped to address the lads, upwards of 200 again from all over the country.
Crowd addressed by various union officials and one beautiful old Scottish firebrand who called for us to take urgent unofficial action.
As he did so a mobile phone rang in the crowd - the Lindsey oil refinery had walked!
Travelling home, the radio and our phones kept us informed as others joined the fight. It warmed our hearts.
- 31 January. North west Labour Party meeting in Preston. 50 protesters. Admonished by area union official for altering my placard to ask Unite the union to stop slavishly funding the Labour Party.
Collected a couple of hundred signatures for the petition to ask that the employers honour our national agreement, including a few MPs.
Although I couldn't get the MPs to sign my Campaign for a New Workers' Party petition. You would be surprised how many signatures I got from Labour Party members attending the meeting.
- 2 February. Heysham, Fiddlers Ferry and Sellafield join us.
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.
In The Socialist 4 February 2009:
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
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!
The Socialist 4 February 2009 |
Join the Socialist
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
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