The Lindsay Oil Refinery dispute is about the rights of all – Polish workers strike in solidarity

Polish nationals were among the six hundred workers at Langage power station walked out on Monday, reports the Plymouth Herald:

Jerry Pickford, South West regional officer for UNITE, said the workers had walked out in “general sympathy with what’s happening in the construction industry”. He said Polish workers were among the 600-strong group.

Mr Pickford said: “All the Polish workers have walked out as well, because this is not an issue against foreign workers.

“This is an issue against foreign employers using foreign workers to stop British workers getting jobs.

“Once they do that they will try and undermine the terms and conditions of employment in this country.” [My emphasis]

Here are the demands of the Lindsay Oil Refinery contract workers as were agreed on February 2, and prove that the dispute is for fair access, not the exclusion of migrant workers:

* No victimisation of workers taking solidarity action.

* All workers in UK to be covered by NAECI Agreement.

* Union controlled registering of unemployed and locally skilled union members, with nominating rights as work becomes available.

* Government and employer investment in proper training/apprenticeships for new generation of construction workers – fight for a future for young people.

* All Immigrant labour to be unionised.

* Trade Union assistance for immigrant workers – including interpreters – and access to Trade Union advice – to promote active integrated Trade Union Members.

* Build links with construction trade unions on the continent.

* Re-instatement of [victimised worker] John McKewan

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3 Responses to “The Lindsay Oil Refinery dispute is about the rights of all – Polish workers strike in solidarity”

  1. John Holroyd Says:

    Have been viewing this dispute from home in Scotland, having left Grimsby in 1991. I had worked at L.O.R. when work at the Humber Graving Dock was slack, so know quite a number of the protestors involved. The dispute is right, and it is just, and is not about stopping workers from an ethnic minority getting work. It was very worrying though to see two prominent Union Jacks in the crowd on the lunchtime news today. I hope this will be stamped on before the BNP really start to exploit the situation.
    It’s strange when you hear Gordon Brown saying in the Commons yesterday that protectionism is bad. It is if you’re working class, and from one of the hard working families he’s always going on about. It’s not bad if you’re a parasitic financial speculator bringing this country to it’s knees. What could be more protective than throwing billions of pounds at them, not once, but twice?
    Nil batard carborundum.

  2. David Lindsay Says:

    Globalism in general, the EU in particular, and for that matter Thatcher’s anti-union laws, are on the brink of defeat in Britain today.

    As someone once said, “Rejoice, Rejoice”.

  3. charliemarks Says:

    David – For once, that quote seems apt!

    John – the BNP have been asked to leave by the strikers who want none of their bigotry. As soon as it became apparent the media was twisting the story the slogans were changed to “fair access for all”. The racists were on a hiding to nothing with their attempts to put the blame on the migrant workers. As for the butchers’ apron, I don’t like the thing, but I suppose it was to relate to Brown’s phrase…

    The current proposal, to be voted on by the Lindsay workers, is that new jobs are to be created and in future there will be an even mix of UK and EU labour. All they wanted was the right to apply for a job – they weren’t demanding work but the right to be considered for employment. Employers have been told by the government before that they must advertise work for two weeks before going over seas – the concept of posting workers gets around this legal requirement.

    On the positive side, the Lindsay strikers and all those who walked out in solidarity have shown that the legal restrictions on workers’ rights can be broken and that as the song goes, “there is power in a union!”


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