British Jobs row

Agreements under threat

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There are 267 different firms employed at Lindsey oil refinery alone. Is European law keeping bosses in line with national agreements on pay and conditions? Robert Jackson reports

There have been plenty of warning signs that the process of European economic integration was likely to create flashpoints unless decisive action was taken to protect workers' interests. As long ago as October 2005, unions involved in the joint National Engineering Construction Committee published a special report entitled "Protecting National Collective Agreements in UK Construction".

Views from the migrant workers

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Francesco and Gianluca, like their 98 Italian colleagues housed on a barge at Grimsby Fish Docks, had arrived in late January on a four-month contract to work at the French oil giant, Total, at Lindsey oil refinery in Immingham.

Francesco, in his late 40s, had worked as a welder in Tunisia and Libya. Gianluca, in his 30s, worked in Croatia and Germany. "This is my first time in the UK," he said.

And here in north Lincolnshire, "it was the first time in my 20 years of working life abroad that I've experienced anti-foreign feelings," said Francesco.

Economic crisis and job losses: who's to blame?

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Nationalism is always a dead end for the working class movement, argues Martin Smith, after the wildcat strikes that demanded "British jobs for British workers"

Two things became abundantly clear when standing on the picket line outside the Lindsey oil refinery in Immingham. It was the second day of the wildcat strike and for the first time since the economic crisis started there was a whiff of the class struggle we have witnessed across the Channel in Europe.

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