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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 June 2009

Support for Lindsey Oil Refinery workers

Protests at Fiddlers Ferry

Fiddlers Ferry workers strike in solidarity with Lindsey Oil Refinery Construction workers, photo The Socialist

Fiddlers Ferry workers strike in solidarity with Lindsey Oil Refinery Construction workers, photo The Socialist

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.

Fiddlers Ferry workers strike in solidarity with Lindsey Oil Refinery Construction workers, photo The Socialist

Fiddlers Ferry workers strike in solidarity with Lindsey Oil Refinery Construction workers, photo The Socialist

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!

Jon Dale

Send solidarity messages

Lindsey Oil Refinery solidarity strikes: ConcoPhillips Humber refinery, photo Jim Reeves

Lindsey Oil Refinery solidarity strikes: ConcoPhillips Humber refinery, photo Jim Reeves

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 doyle_a5@sky.com with copies to alistairtice@yahoo.co.uk.

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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.
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In The Socialist 23 June 2009:

Lindsey refinery dispute: Workers show their strength

Protests at Fiddlers Ferry

New pamphlet: Lindsey, Visteon, Linamar - lessons from the disputes of Spring 2009


Youth fight for jobs

No to mass youth unemployment


Socialist Party editorial

Economy - 'Green shoots' are without real roots


Socialist Party news and analysis

Iraq war inquiry

The guns fall silent - but no peace for Tamils

Fight for a Scottish parliament with full powers

Racists in Northern Ireland threaten socialist for defending Romanian community

'Sponsors' deserting academy schools

Another RBS rip-off payout


Unison conference

Unison conference: We needed a council of war - we got a council of doom


Revolution in Iran

Where now for the Iranian revolution?


Socialist Party statement

Reply to SWP open letter: Workers' party must be built


 

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Related links:

Lindsey Oil Refinery:

triangleHull: Construction workers' walkout forces employer to back down

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

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

triangleTrade unions: myths of EU 'Remain' campaign

triangleConstruction workers stop work to protest at the undermining of jobs and pay

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

Oil:

triangleLibya: Civil war and chaos follow interventions by world and regional powers

triangleShell pays 0 corporation tax, and plans huge hike in fossil output

triangleDrone attacks on Saudi Arabia: Tensions ratcheted up

Lindsey:

triangleSpied on by the state and bosses

triangleWorkers' Memorial Day: strike for safety

Protest:

triangleBlack Lives Matter - the fight is not over

Council:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Construction:

triangleNo return to unsafe construction sites

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