Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Legality and the Lindsey Oil Refinery Dispute

There seems to be a trend in recent disputes of law-breaking. Of course the thing that has been highlighted in the media is that much of the action taken by workers in these dispute has been illegal. For example, Rob Williams sealing himself into his office after being sacked was technically trespassing, as was the occupations by the sacked Visteon workers. At Lindsey Oil Refinery (LOR) and other construction sites, the wildcat strikes are of course illegal under the anti-union laws.

Yet in most instances they have been proceeded by illegality on the part of management. The sacking of Rob Williams was illegal, all the proper procedures were simply ignored in their rush to get rid of a militant trade unionist. At Lindsey Oil Refinery the disputes have been over management breaking agreements with the trade unions (not sure whether thats technically illegal - but the principle is the same.

I think the recent disputes demonstrate the class bias within the law where it favours company management over the workers - anything illegal the management does they are able to cost out and work out whether its cheaper to break the law than to face militant resistance. Fortunately, where workers are in position to take action they can overcome some of this bias and acheive a form of justice for themselves as the case of Rob Williams shows.

I'm sure someone can probably do a better job with these thoughts!

Anyways, a few quick plugs:

Latest Socialist Party LOR leaflet http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/latest/7466
New blog based in Wrexham http://wrexhamsocialist.blogspot.com/

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