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20/06/2009 - Wildcat action spreads

Wildcat sympathy action in support of the sacked Lindsey workers is spreading fast. Wildcat strikes had already spread to several power stations and other terminals in the past few days as thousands of workers took sympathy action.

There were reports that contract workers at the Staythorpe power station in Nottinghamshire and Ferrybridge power station in Yorkshire walked out early on Friday after hearing the news.

One of the sacked Lindsey workers said: "We are asking for support from workers across the country which I am sure will be given. Total will soon realise they have unleashed a monster.

"It is disgraceful that this has happened without any consultation.

"If they get away with this the rest of the industry will crumble and it will be like a turkey cull. Workers will be decimated and unskilled employees from abroad will be brought in on the cheap, treated like scum and sent back after the job is done.

"There is a serious possibility that the lights will go out because of this. We just cannot stand by and see workers discarded like an oily cloth."

Text messages being sent to workers across the country read: "Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Your support is now needed more than ever. If you are supporting our brothers across the country thank you. If you're not yet out just remember next time it could be you. We must fight this NOW."

Contract workers at power stations took action yesterday at Fiddlers Ferry in Cheshire, Drax and Eggborough in Yorkshire, Ratcliffe in Nottinghamshire, Didcot in Oxfordshire and Aberthaw in South Wales.

Contractors at a BP refinery near Hull also joined the strike action.

The dispute flared when a contractor laid off 51 workers while another employer was hiring staff at Lindsey, which was hit earlier this year by unofficial strikes over jobs for non-UK workers.

Around 1,200 contract workers at the terminal have been taking unofficial action all week as efforts to convene talks floundered.

 

The Unions seem powerless to act as the Total management refuse to negotiate with them. Workers, however, are taking direct action themselves outside of Union organisation. Within the Trade Union movement there is considerable sympathy for the strikers but they are hamstrung by Tory anti-Trade Union legislation (kept in place by NuLab). As a result new, informal methods are being used by workers to spread the strikes outside of Union structures.