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Plymouth Trades Union Council

Support the Lindsey Oil Refinery 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 they succeed in breaking this well organised group of workers then every trade unionist will suffer.

There is only one response to this attack. We need to shutdown every construction site, every refinery and every power station. Workers across the country must move now to support the workers at LOR.

The sackings sparked a wave of sympathy strikes at power stations and other sites across Britain, with some activists warning that power workers could soon join the walkouts, threatening electricity supplies.

Pickets at Lindsey Oil Refinery

All of the 1,100 sub-contractors working on a new bioethanol refinery on Teesside operated by Ensus walked out at 10am yesterday. At Shell’s Stanlow refinery in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, a further 450 maintenance and contractor staff downed toolsand 150 contracted employees at E.ON UK power station at Ratcliffe-on-Soar in Notts walked out.

At Drax, Britain’s biggest power station near Selby in Yorkshire, about 200 contractor staff had downed tools in sympathy with the Lindsey staff on Thursday and Friday. About 90 staff walked out at the Saltend BP chemicals factory near Hull. 360 contractors walked out on Friday from Didcot A and Aberthaw power stations in Oxfordshire and Wales.

Pickets at Linset Oil Refinery

There were also signs that the strike action was spreading to the nuclear industry as contracted workers at its Hinkley Point reactor in Somerset walked out.

The EDF power plant at Cottam was also affected as was Scottish and Southern Energy’s Fiddler’s Ferry power station near Warrington.

 

 

Today (Monday 22nd) hundreds of the sacked workers burnt their dismissal letters, and over 1200 have taken action.

Solidarity action continued at other sites around the country(follow this link for an up-to-date map and details of solidarity action).

Strikers burn dismisal letters

We applaude those workers who have already taken action in support of the LOR workers.

Unite and the GMB unions repudiated the action at Lindsey, saying that they were forced to by the anti-union laws. But Total refuse to negotiate, have sacked over 650 workers, and insist that they must reapply for their jobs & return to work before they will talk to the unions.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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