Socialist Worker

Construction: we need a national shutdown

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2247

Blockading the Saltend site on Monday of this week  (Pic: Ken Coyne)

Blockading the Saltend site on Monday of this week (Pic: Ken Coyne)

Locked out construction workers in Hull staged a sit down at their construction site on Monday.

Hundreds of construction workers held a meeting outside the Saltend site.

They heard that talks at the conciliation service Acas broke down on Sunday night after management walked out.

The workers stormed through one gate and blockaded the entrance to the site. They later occupied a roundabout.

They have been out of work for nearly a month.

The GMB union has donated £100,000 to the hardship fund and along with the Unite union called a national construction shop stewards’ meeting for 18 April.

A protest was planned for outside BP’s annual meeting in London on Thursday.

Last week saw locked out workers protest in Middlesbrough’s Centre Square. Brian Wilson, a welder, said, “This can’t be allowed to happen. It’s a kick in the teeth for the working man.”

Ian McPike said, “We returned on the Monday to BP Saltend to find we had been locked out.

“In the meantime we as a workforce have been left in limbo. For four weeks now we have been left without work.

“We are asking for a national day of support.”

The potential for this was seen last week when workers walked out in support at the Wilton International site near Redcar.

Other groups of workers have also shown both financial solidarity and a willingness to walk out in support.

While both the GMB and Unite unions are backing the workers, words need to be turned into action.

The bosses are clearly out to break a militant workforce.

Solidarity, and militant industrial action, can win the dispute.

If the officials won’t call out other sites, then the action should be unofficial.

Donations to Saltend Hardship Fund, 1 Manby Road, Scunthorpe, DN17 2LA. Email: [email protected]

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Article information

Tue 12 Apr 2011, 18:33 BST
Issue No. 2247
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