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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 June 2009

Total's fat fingers in every pie

THE CONSTRUCTION workers at Lindsey won a magnificent battle for the working class. They managed to turn back the cost-cutting plans of Total, the multinational energy giant rated as one of the world's six 'supermajor' oil companies. Total has its fat fingers in many pies.
Phil Whitehurst, a senior GMB union shop steward at Lindsey, spoke about the dispute to big crowds at last weekend's Glastonbury festival and linked up with a group campaigning against Total in Burma.

Total operates a huge natural gas pipeline from Burma to Thailand, despite the European Union imposing sanctions against Burma's military regime. Phil Whitehurst handed over a 500 cheque on behalf of the British trade union movement to the campaign.

Total is also one of 32 oil companies who are bidding to take over six oilfields and two gas fields in war-shattered Iraq, which still has one of the world's largest untapped oil reserves of 115 billion barrels.

Since 2003, US and British troops have been occupying Iraq, bringing death and bloodshed to the civilian population and to the soldiers. Now, Iraqi and foreign oil contract workers could face the prospect of violence on the streets and oilfields in an attempt to get their employers a profitable foothold in Iraq.

If their plans succeed, this would mainly benefit the oil monopolies, their executives and shareholders. These Western-based firms want to make a fortune from stealing Iraq's oil.

But the Lindsey dispute shows that the organised working class is potentially the strongest power on earth. The workers' movement should take confidence that, by fighting for policies based on workers' unity and socialist internationalism, the ruthless plans of Total and the other oil giants can be defeated. We can then put the idea of transforming society along socialist lines back on the political agenda again.

Roger Shrives

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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.

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In The Socialist 30 June 2009:

Militant action pays!


Youth fight for jobs

Decent jobs not poverty schemes!


Socialist Party editorial

Victories show the way forward for struggles

Total's fat fingers in every pie

"We came out with Lindsey and we'll go back with Lindsey"


Socialist Party campaigns

New Labour's house building plans amount to just a drop in the ocean

Pride not profit - London Pride Saturday 4 July

Crisis looms in FE colleges

Tower Hamlets demo

Councils try to gag us

Campaign to save Lewisham Bridge school continuing

Fast news

BNP: Looking beneath the suits


National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network Conference Confident and enthusiastic


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

25 years ago: Liverpool - a city that dared to fight


Workplace news and events

Glasgow council: Social work dept staff start all-out strike

Justice for the Shrewsbury pickets march and rally

Construction industry in major crisis


 

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Related links:

Total:

triangle2017 was the best fighting fund total this century!

triangleNHS SOS round-up

triangleThem & Us

triangleJustice for Yemen workers

triangleYemen: families left to starve by multinationals

Lindsey:

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

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Lessons of the 2009 Lindsey Refinery strike

triangleSpied on by the state and bosses

triangleWorkers' Memorial Day: strike for safety

GMB:

triangleCoordinated union struggle needed to save jobs and nationalise JCB

triangleWorkers at Lewisham coronavirus hospital walk out after not being paid

triangleCouncil concedes to striking winter gritters' demands

Construction workers:

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

Burma:

triangleBrutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

Oil:

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

Iraq:

triangleIraq - a brutal legacy of imperialist intervention

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