If the reports being posted in the national press websites are to be believed, it looks like the striking Lindsey workers have won a great victory.
According to the PA report posted this morning:
by thousands of contract workers are ending after a deal was agreed to
resolve a bitter row over jobs at an oil refinery.
leaders and employers reached an agreement to end the dispute which
flared at the Lindsey oil refinery in North Lincolnshire.
The deal will be recommended for acceptance at a mass meeting outside the refinery on Monday morning.
said the deal involved the reinstatement of 647 workers at the oil
refinery who were sacked for taking unofficial action in protest at the
laying off of 51 employees by a sub-contractor.
It is believed the 51 workers will also be offered jobs as part of the agreement.Unions
have also won assurances that thousands of workers at power stations
and oil and gas terminals who took sympathy action will not be
A unite official has been quoted as saying: "We’re pleased that we were able to thrash out a deal which the union can put to the workforce at Lindsey…Following hours of detailed negotiations, there has been a significant breakthrough…The
proposals for a return to work will be recommended to the workforce by
the union’s shop stewards at Lindsey on Monday morning."
We would note, however, that if things had just been left to the officials from Unite HQ then the workers would have been marching not to the site but down to the nearest dole office. The fact that initally all the workers got from their general secretary was a letter repudiating the action – which many received with their dismissal notices - was a disgrace. Fortunately the local stewards were made of sterner stuff.
Workers will be looking closely at the actual terms of the settlement over the weekend just to be certain that there are no catches in the small print. Only when they are certain that the deal is a good one will they vote it through. We will also reserve final comment until then.
If the report above is correct then it does look like the workers have got a good result by standing firm and defending union power.
Next week we will post material which draws the lessons together not only from the Lindsey dispute but also from other recent struggles (Linamar, Visteon etc.) where workers have gained by fighting and not giving in to bosses attacks.