Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/481/2256

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 April 2007

Celebs fail to save Burberry

FEELINGS RAN high as Burberry workers marched out of the Treorchy plant for the last time last week. Burberry had succeeded in closing the factory, sacking 300 workers and moving production of its expensive polo shirts to China.

Dave Reid and Socialist Party Wales members

Anger was mixed with tears as most of the workforce finished their last shift and assembled for the march. Generations of families had been employed at the factory. Some workers had worked there for over 40 years before being thrown on the scrapheap by Burberry.

People lined the streets of Treorchy, applauding the workers as they marched behind a brass band and the Treorchy Male Voice Choir. This was reminiscent of the march back to work of Rhondda miners at the end of the 1984-85 strike. But the miners at least had the chance to fight for their jobs.

At Burberry's there were tears of frustration as well as sorrow. Burberry workers had wanted to fight. 70 gathered at a meeting organised by the Socialist Party in Treorchy when the closure was announced, followed by factory gate meetings of hundreds.

But GMB full-time officials instructed their members not to take part and took over the campaign to prevent militant action. The union leaders had thrown cold water on attempts to mobilise marches and action before Christmas when the company was at its most vulnerable.

As one marcher commented: "We should have been marching in September not today".

Some workers stayed away from the GMB-organised event and one or two ripped GMB stickers off the backs of workmates' coats.

The union leaders had relied solely on a high-profile campaign, recruiting celebrities to embarrass the company to reprieve the plant. Tom Jones, Ioan Gruffudd, Emma Thompson and Alex Ferguson were lined up. Pickets were set up at Burberry stores in London, USA and France.

This campaign would have been a useful addition to a militant campaign of action by the workforce linking up with solidarity action in Burberry plants in Yorkshire and the wider South Wales labour movement. But on its own it could only embarrass not hurt the company.

Burberry's had to be hit hard to prevent the closure of the plant and that meant allowing the workforce to organise its own militant campaign, combining overtime bans and strike action, possibly preparing for a factory occupation to save the plant.

In the end Burberry conceded slightly higher redundancy terms, a measly trust fund for the local community and the plant itself, which in any case is worthless to the company.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 4 April 2007:

Children suffer in low pay Britain


Socialist Party editorial

Iran - Sailors fall victim to imperialist policies


Socialist Party news and analysis

Brown's pension robbery

Blair: No solutions to crime or crowded prisons

Waltham Forest protest - more memorable than Prince Charles!

Commemorating the abolition of the slave trade


Socialist Party reviews

One Life: Ricky Tomlinson

In The Line of Fire

Days of Glory


Education

Take national action to defend education

Labour's market policies damage education

Privilege and privation in our schools

NUS leadership abandon fees fight


PCS takes industrial action

London strikers close passport office

PCS members take industrial action

Anger on Newport picket line

Upbeat London rally


Campaign for a New Workers Party

How to stop the BNP: Build a political alternative

Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Ammanford home care workers march

Frustration at demo delay

We shall not be moved!


Asylum

Save Sadiq Abakar

Leicester protesters challenge Home Office


Workplace news and analysis

Trade union leaders heckled over inaction

Action needed as Ford bosses close Leamington plant

Celebs fail to save Burberry

Greenwich: "We've got to strike"

Burslem postal workers strike again


Northern Ireland

British government and local parties retreat on water charges

We Won't Pay Campaign


 

Home   |   The Socialist 4 April 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

GMB:

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleGig economy exploiter Uber loses London licence

triangleEscalate summer strike wave into coordinated action to defeat the pay cap

triangleGMB conference: angry mood from delegates

triangleBully bosses' zero-hour backdown

Militant:

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

triangleReadmit the socialists - for a federal Labour Party

triangleLewisham 1977: When socialists and workers defeated the far-right National Front

triangleSouth-East London Socialist Party: From Militant to the Socialist Party

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2