Socialist Worker

Where next for construction?

Issue No. 2158

The deal won at the Lindsey Oil Refinery means that all 647 workers who walked out will be reinstated.

The 51 workers who were originally made redundant – which sparked the walkouts – will be re-employed on the Lindsey site.

And there will be no victimisation of any worker who struck anywhere in Britain in solidarity with the Lindsey strikers.

Management have control over the way the deal is implemented, and the resulting shuffling of contracts.

Bosses have broken deals before and workers are determined to keep a close eye on them now.

Management has decided to move 34,000 hours of work from one subcontractor, IREM, to another subcontractor, Shaws, and this may mean that some “foreign” workers will be replaced by British ones.

Demanded

But that’s not what those who walked out demanded.

Unfortunately, as long as the poisonous system of contracting and subcontracting remains, there will be constant attempts to set worker against worker.

Everyone must stand against such divisions.

An important battle has been won but the war in construction is far from over.

One step in the fightback is to win the national ballot for action in the construction industry in the GMB and Unite unions.

Everyone should join a union and get involved in the ballot.

But the rank and file needs to keep control and not let the officials dominate.

Workers who have been prepared to have a go, even if it is outside of the official structures and against the law, have won.

We need much more of that – and not just in construction.


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