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British Jobs for British Workers? Negotiating Work, Nation, and Globalisation through the Lindsey Oil Refinery Disputes

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Danny MacKinnonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This paper explores the relationships between labour organising, globalisation and national identity through an engagement with the 2009 Lindsey Oil Refinery strikes. Some strikers adopted the controversial slogan British Jobs for British Workers' in response to employers' attempts to undercut existing wages and conditions with a new migrant workforce. This led to accusations of xenophobia. We make three inter-related arguments. First, we contend that it is necessary to interrogate the spatialised power relations generated through particular forms of labour agency enacted in relation to globalising processes. Second, since these responses can be politically ambiguous, success in territorially based disputes does not always equate with broader (transnational) class agency. Third, relevant to the project of labour geography, we propose that labour scholars and activists be more attuned to the mundane ambiguities in labour agency, and the subsequent need to frame local action within a broader relational politics of global labour solidarity.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ince A, Featherstone D, Cumbers A, MacKinnon D, Strauss K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Antipode

Year: 2015

Volume: 47

Issue: 1

Pages: 139-157

Print publication date: 01/01/2015

Online publication date: 28/05/2014

Acceptance date: 17/03/2014

Date deposited: 31/07/2015

ISSN (print): 0066-4812

ISSN (electronic): 1467-8330

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/anti.12099


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