Total victory as sacked strikers return to work

How outrageous! Workers voting by show of hands to withdraw their labour – no postal ballot, cooling-off period, or legal injunctions.

Democracy in action! For which hundreds of working men were sacked. But no more. The Morning Star reports on this historic victory for working people in this country:

Workers have voted to return to work at a jubilant mass meeting outside the Lindsey oil refinery.

Workers voted to return to work after union officials recommended they accept an agreement thrashed out during the marathon talks last week.

Addressing the hundreds of strikers gathered outside the refinery, GMB shop steward Kenny Ward described the deal as an “unprecedented victory” for trade unions.

The agreement was a “smack in the face for the employers, a realisation that they need to take a step back,” he added.

Yesterday’s vote marked the last act in a bitter dispute embroiling contract workers that led to unofficial strikes at power stations refineries across the country.

The men had taken unofficial action after complaining that 51 employees were being laid off at Lindsey, owned by energy giant Total, while other contractors on the site were hiring staff.

Thousands of workers across Britain came out in sympathy, with as many as 15 sites nationwide taking solidarity action.

Unions involved in the dispute said that their members’ objectives of finding other jobs for the sacked 51 workers, as well as rescinding the dismissal notices sent to 647 employees at the site who were on strike, had been met.

A guarantee of no victimisation against workers across the country who took sympathy action was also secured.

Welcoming the outcome, Unite assistant general secretary Les Bayliss said: “We hope that the lessons learned at Lindsey are not forgotten.

“We look forward to a new chapter of industrial relations in construction.”

The agreement also means that a Unite official has been appointed to represent Lindsey workers on a full-time basis until the end of the project, Mr Bayliss pointed out.

Within minutes of the vote, police had temporarily halted traffic as the workers carrying union banners and flags marched across the road and back on to the site.

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