Sacking of the Lindsey Workers
The sacking of 900 workers at the Lindsey Oil Refinery (LOR) is an attack on every trade unionist in the country. Total used the sacking of 51 workers as a threat to activists at the site. They have now moved to break the recent unofficial strike movement based around LOR. If the employers succeed in breaking this well organised group of workers then every trade unionist will suffer. There is only one response to this outrageous attack. That is to shutdown every construction site, every refinery and every power station. Workers across the movement have to move now to support the workers at LOR. The fact that workers have moved to do exactly that should be applauded. Unite and the GMB unions repudiated the action at Lindsey. They say that they were forced to by the anti-union laws. But 12 years into a Labour government that Paul Kenny, Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson tell us to back why are these laws still in place. There are 2.2 million on the dole now and soon there will soon be 3 million out of work. A job goes every 30 seconds. We have just seen British Airways ask their workers to work for nothing. Its time to resist now. These sackings are a challenge to the whole working class movement. We have to back the construction workers to the hilt. Earlier this year on some construction picket lines the slogan "British jobs for British workers" appeared. Every construction strike is now branded as "anti foreigner". This is not true. But to win support from the whole movement it needs to be made crystal clear that the battle is for every worker to have decent conditions and one rate for the job, no matter where they are from. Every trade unionist, every workplace has to get behind this fight. Sometimes there are pivotal moments in the history of the workers' movement. The sacking of the printers at Wapping in the aftermath of the miners' strike was one such moment. It was used to intimidate the whole working class. At a time when resistance to the economic crisis is just developing we can't allow this to happen again. This is a battle for everyone. We have to build the maximum possible solidarity, urgently. A victory for construction workers would be an inspiration for every worker who is fighting back for the right to work, this is a fight the labour movement has to win.