Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/500/3105

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 September 2007

Swansea: Visteon strike threat brings concessions

AS WE go to press, workers in the Swansea Visteon plant are voting on a company offer to settle their long-running dispute. Just a day before a strike was due to happen at the plant on 31 August, management put a proposal which consisted of significant concessions.

By a Visteon steward

The threat to make tradesmen into production operators was lifted. 40 of the 56 temporary workers will be offered permanent jobs and lastly, should the plant be sold off, every worker will receive 875. The shop stewards' committee is recommending acceptance.

But feelings are running high. The last few years of poor treatment by Visteon management have made the workforce suspicious of these concessions. The vote could be very close.

This year on 30 March, Visteon UK management walked into the Swansea plant and ripped up the sourcing agreement and stopped brake disc production. All the disc lines had at least two years left, two lines had at least four years left!

The company tried to justify it because Ford's Leamington foundry was closing but one of the new lines didn't even get their rough stock from Leamington!

Swansea employees immediately voted for an industrial action ballot but regrettably it took 14 weeks from that mandate to the first opportunity to take action. Unfortunately, by then the disc work had gone and over 80 permanent jobs. Should the plant's temporary workers have been laid off, over 150 hourly-paid jobs would have been lost.

The stewards' committee wanted to send a strong message to Visteon management that they couldn't just take work out of Swansea without a fight.

Because the company wanted to make 'excess' skilled workers into production operators, Swansea shop stewards wanted to act on the 'yes' votes for industrial action. They believed that the percentage of temporary workers should be reduced from 15% to 10%, giving some temps the opportunity to get a permanent job.

They also believed Swansea employees should be compensated financially for the company breaking the disc sourcing agreement. How many local manufacturing plants could have kept work if these brutal employers had to pay a penalty price every time they take out work and jobs without agreement?

The union has been accused of organising unofficial action over the last two years but the company responded to this legal, official action with brutal methods.

A 'work to rule' was meant to bring the company back to the negotiating table but while privately indicating that they were prepared to talk, they actually started to put workers 'off pay', the union believes illegally.

Twice recently, the company put assembly workers off pay (literally stop paying and then disciplining them) because they weren't able to produce the normal amount. This is on a line with half the number of its normal plattens (that deliver the work around the line)!

The company's own disciplinary procedures say that groups of individuals cannot be taken off pay together but this was just ignored.

Swansea workers are just told: "We have to prepare you for sale to Linamar" (from Canada). They are starting to worry about what it will be like to work in Swansea whoever owns the plant under these bullying tactics.

Swansea workers have no confidence in Visteon. They want a future which protects jobs, terms and conditions and pensions. Any future talks with Linamar have to give all the detail on these issues.

Despite all the bullying, harassment and intimidation over the last seven years, not just the last couple of weeks, Swansea Visteon workers have fought all the way to defend their jobs and conditions. They have also been to the forefront in supporting other workers in struggle from the firefighters to the postal workers.

Many workers will recognise this story from their own experience. Certainly tens of thousands of car workers know all about how the industry has been devastated by the 'race to the bottom'. The Visteon workers have shown that it is possible to buck the trend by forcing major concessions from management.

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


In The Socialist 6 September 2007:

Strike against public sector pay cap

Prison officers defy government's pay cap

Prison Officers' strike reports


Socialist Party workplace news

Strikers solid in London tubes stoppage

Swansea: Visteon strike threat brings concessions


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Defend Newcastle General Hospital

Sheffield Northern General Hospital bulk stores strike


Trades Union Congress

TUC conference resolutions need to lead to action

TUC conference fringe meeting


Socialist Party events

Socialism 2007 - a weekend of discussion and debate, hosted by the Socialist Party


Socialist Party news and analysis

Horror and heartbreak in Croxteth - What is the cause? What is the answer?

Massive deprivation in Norris Green, Liverpool


Socialist Party policy

The growing wealth gap


Education

Cardiff: More schools fight closures programme


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

'Agitate, educate, organise': the role of the workers' press


International socialist news and analysis

Greece is burning


Workplace news and analysis

Belfast Airport workers score a victory

Unison witch-hunt

Plymouth dockyard


Socialist Party reviews

Fela Kuti, revolutionary musician

'Holding Fire' by Jack Shepherd

Save the 'Westie' in Aldershot


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 September 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Swansea:

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Art and Revolution

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

Visteon:

triangleFord workers vote for action

trianglePotential new steel bosses refuse to take on pensions

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleFinal meeting of Swansea Visteon pensioners

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

6/12/17

Kirklees

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

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