Tuesday, 23 June 2009

All Out For the Lyndsey Strikers, Bust the Anti-Union Laws

Following the example of solidarity strike action in support of the Lyndsey Oil Refinery workers earlier this year, thousands of other workers around the country have walked out in support of the new strikes resulting from the sacking of 647 workers at the site who came out against the redundancy of 51 workers in contravention of a previous agreement to redeploy workers within the site.

See: BBC Report on Strike .

The management’s tactics here are a clear attempt at union busting, and must be defeated. But, more is at stake here. Not only is the action of the workers at Lyndsey illegal under the anti-union laws, because it was taken without an official ballot, but the action of other workers in support is also illegal under those same laws. But, as the similar Gate Gourmet dispute demonstrated without the ability to respond immediately to bosses actions against workers, without the ability of, especially small groups of workers, to obtain the collective support of their comrades in other workplaces, workers are at a huge disadvantage in trying to defeat the attacks on them by rich, powerful bosses. This dispute is a perfect opportunity for workers to finish off Thatcher’s anti-union laws, once and for good.

Back in 1978, after year’s of workers being kept down by the Social Contract stitched up between the Labour Government and the TUC, workers frustration eventually boiled over. Ford workers struck in defiance of the Social Contract, and won a Pay Policy busting rise, that opened the door for other workers to flood through. Many did in the private sector, but Callaghan’s Government decided to use its position by trying to maintain the Pay Policy in relation to Public Sector workers. It led to the Winter of Discontent, and the election of Thatcher.

With Labour already in dire straits, with it looking as though it will have to ditch the Post office privatisation programme or face a huge rebellion by Labour MP’s already shitting themselves over the prospect of having to get a job if they lose their seats, its hard to imagine that Labour would want to repeat that experience by gaoling workers, or trying to impose huge fines on the unions that still largely fund them ahead of an election next year. If workers and the Labour Movement push through the anti-union laws now by direct action in support of the Lyndsey strikers we can consign the anti-union laws to the dustbin of history, whether or not the Government legislates them away. But, we should then still demand on the back of that that those laws are formally removed from the statute book, demand a fight by the union leaders and the Labour left, for at least that minimum commitment to the working class.


Montreal said...

Amazingly the media have been quite neutral on this issue, if not slightly sympathetic to the workers, a sure sign that the establishment is on the defensive, what with the bank bailouts and MP expenses.

With this, Iran and the legal proceedings against the BNP, things are looking very interesting.

PS> re the Sainsburys tv programme, I noticed an article you did on a film about workers being given management of a factory, this is basically a real life experiment/gimmick? instigated by Sainsbury’s Chief executive in the wake of the recession. I thought you may give us your take on this, considering your interest in workers co-operatives.

The Sentinel said...

Oh dear, oh dear, Arthur.

There are no "legal proceedings" against the BNP as yet - just a letter from the race Gestapo to comply with their ludicrously hypocritical stance, whilst of course, failing to send letters out to the Labour Party's very own Black Socialist Society!!! Nor the the Black Police Association etc.

Childish, amateurish and very transparent student politics that will push ordinary people further onto the side of the BNP.

The Sentinel said...

When are the Marxist unions going to end their class and job description discrimination and allow everyone - including managers and owners - to join their organisations?

Boffy said...


Lindsey and Iran are related. They both stem from the effects of he Long Wave boom, and the beginning of the effect of that on workers confidence and conscioussness. In part also Iran reflects a mood in the Iranian ruling class that it does not want to be losing out on the effects of that boom, in the way that the policies of the clerical-fascists have been causing.

In part, also that is related to teh bouregoisie's atatck on the BNP here. As I said, in another post, and as I'll make clearer in an upcoming blog on why the BNP represents no immediate threat, the bosses do not need the BNP at the moment, in fact they are a hindrance for it. I read a piece recently, which said that there will need to be thousands more construction workers brought into Britain from abroad to make up for skills shortages.

See: How The employers See The strikes .

This is one fo the reaslons for the employers attempts to udnermine union organisation. But, the employers NEED all these immigrant workers just as they did in the 1950's, and early 60's at a similar phase of that Long Boom.

They have used racism through the gutter press to cause divisions to weaken workers, but if it threatens to undermine the immigration they need, they will act against it. Moreover, the bosses as much as the left know what fascism is. They know its immediate effect will be destablising, and an almost greater unity and mobilisation of the Left. So they will act to limit the growth of the BNP. They will kennel their attack dog until they think they need it.

On sainsbury's. I'll try to watch it on Catch up. I think from what you say, it is just a publicity gimmick. You cannot have real control without ownership.

Boffy said...


I haven't said that there are legal proceedings yet. I said,

"As I predicted a few weeks ago, the BNP is now facing a legal challenge over its membership rules".

Facing does not mean actually already happening.

See: Problems Ahead For the BNP .

Also, we note both your anti-worker position is exposed showing your hypocrisy and stupidity in exposing thaat hypocrisy once again.

We also notee that your stupidity also extends to a lack of knowledge about Trade Unions themelves. You do not seem to realise that Trade Unions DO organise Managers, and that their are no limitations on owners of companies joining a Trade Union either!!!!!!

The Sentinel said...

"I haven't said that there are legal proceedings yet. I said"

Your sock puppet did.

"Also, we note both your anti-worker position is exposed showing your hypocrisy and stupidity in exposing thaat hypocrisy once again."

Right - and you are a property owning capitalist who took far more then the average working in your years of working for, and sustaining capitalism.

You hate working class people who make a better life for themsleves through sheer hard work and you hate working class people that provide a better life for others throught that same hard work.

You want to see all of the working class ground down into abject poverty.

"You do not seem to realise that Trade Unions DO organise Managers, and that their are no limitations on owners of companies joining a Trade Union either!!!!!!"

Because of you stupidity and ignorance, you do not seem to realise that, for instance, at the CWU (and as a former member I know a lot more about it then the armchair silver spoon socialist that you are) a Royal Mail manager could not join.

Or another contemporary example would be Unison's "Managers in Partnership" union - distinct and separate from the main union.

And why is it, when I worked for the RM I couldn't join Unison? Or Equity?

Why cant I join any union I please? Why the discrimination?

Why aren't all unions open to everyone, regardless of job title or any other 'social construct.'

The Sentinel said...

"Also, we note both your anti-worker position is exposed showing your hypocrisy and stupidity in exposing thaat hypocrisy once again."

And how much front you have even directing the word stupid at me in this appalling mess of grammar, spelling and sanity!!!