The news that workers at the conflict prone site at Lindsey Refinery in north Lincolnshire have once again had to strike is not surprising to Solidarity.
In January of this year workers struck against the French owners Total for employing foreign contractors instead of offering jobs to local British workers. Agreement was reached whereby contractors would be asked to employ local labour regardless of where the contractors were based. Total wanted to minimise labour costs by hiring non-unionised, cheaper foreign workers.
The latest dispute started over 51 redundancies. Workers claim an agreement not to axe any jobs had been broken. They say Total had offered an assurance that no jobs would be lost here while foreign workers were employed on site. Total, which owns the plant, said no such agreement was in place.The workers decided to strike and 647 of them have now been sacked by Total.
Thousands of workers across England and Wales have walked out in support of the sacked staff in unofficial sympathy action. Workers at many other sites, including 900 contractors the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria, have joined unofficial walkouts. Local workers have burned dismissal letters outside the Refinery.
Solidarity supports the strikers in their demands for fair treatment. Whether it be importing cheap labour, exporting jobs to cheap labour economies or undercutting the pay and conditions of existing labour, firms like Total must be resisted.
Solidarity General Secretary Patrick Harrington said "Consumers can join this fight too. Boycott Total at the pumps till they change their anti-British, anti-Union policies."