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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 April 2007

Fury at jobs massacre

THREE WEEKS after being told by managers that their jobs were safe, workers at Clares Merchandise Handling Equipment in Wells, Somerset have received the devastating news that the factory is to be closed with immediate effect, with the loss of 200 jobs.

Richie Clesham, Wells ISR

Angry workers gathered to protest outside the town hall at the closure of the last manufacturing industry in the area but were told by managers and leaders of the local council that nothing could be done to save their jobs. This closure will have a devastating impact on our rural community and comes only a year after the closure of the Nutricia factory which massively increased unemployment in the area.

While Clares workers have been left out in the cold, the company made a 2 million profit last year. To add further insult the land on which the factory stood is being sold off to property developers to make fat profits from building houses that will be unaffordable to ordinary workers in Wells.

Despite the angry protest, management and council leaders disgustingly told workers to "stay motivated" and go for help and advice at local job centres. However there is very little work in the area, which has had its manufacturing base decimated. Most of the employment in the Wells area is low-paid and concentrated in agricultural labouring, farm factories or exploitative agency work. Young people looking for work move out of the area.

Tragically any hope of a fight-back has come too late, Clares is typical of manufacturing in rural areas in having a mostly unorganised workforce. The lack of a fighting trade union to lead a campaign against the closure has left the workers vulnerable.

The Tories and Liberals are battling it out before the local elections but have nothing to offer workers and young people in my area. We need a new party that fights to defend jobs and services and offers young people a future.

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In The Socialist 12 April 2007:

Fight for a socialist alternative

Coventry - Socialist Party's track record


Environment and socialism

'Climate change will hit poorest of poor hardest'

Nuclear power is not the answer

Is the Green Party heading left or right?

Battling over the world's oil reserves


G8 Summit protests

Join the International Youth Camp


International socialist news and analysis

France: Workers need to build a Left alternative


Socialist Party news and analysis

Workers' lives get tougher under New Labour

Campaign for a New Workers' Party

Why legal aid should be defended

Blair silent on Guantanamo


Socialist Party workplace news

Union leaders out of touch with teachers' discontent

NUJ: Build on the victories

Fury at jobs massacre

UNISON and PCS: Vote for fighting, democratic unions

PCS: All out on 1 May


International socialist news and analysis

Zimbabwe: State thugs crackdown on protests


 

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