Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/380/4285

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 February 2005

Longbridge workers still fighting to defend jobs

THERE ARE growing fears that up to half of the workforce at Birmingham's Longbridge car factory could be made redundant as part of a possible joint venture with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).

Clive Walder, Birmingham Socialist Party

The company blame falling sales of current models and won't bear the losses for the 18 months before a new model can be produced at Longbridge. SAIC are insisting on the redundancies now because they don't want to pay for them after the deal is signed.

A key part of the deal is the profitable engine manufacturing subsidiary relocating to China. Already casting equipment has been sent to China as part of an agreement already reached to share (or more accurately give away) technology and intellectual property. It is strongly rumoured that the K Series engine production line will also be shipped to China when an agreement to manufacture engines for Land Rover expires next year.

With half of the current workforce going, doubts about the plant remaining open must surface in workers' minds. The plant stands on a huge site and doubtless more money would be made by selling the land than making cars.

This has all the hallmarks of a cynical asset-stripping exercise. The joint venture will be 70:30 in favour of SAIC. They will make a killing using expertise built up by Longbridge workers. The current British bosses will also get a reasonable slice of the action while the workers will get a redundancy cheque and many will never work again.

Not the workers' fault

If people don't want to buy the current cars built at Longbridge, that's not the workers' fault. That's the fault of the incompetent bosses and we should make them pay.

With over-capacity in the car industry world-wide and attempts to make skilled workers redundant in favour of cheap labour, there has never been a more urgent need for a global plan of production.

Workers in Birmingham and the West Midlands didn't throw their weight behind the battle to keep Longbridge open five years ago to see the plant asset-stripped and the destruction of skilled jobs. After the closure of Jaguar in Coventry, workers in the West Midlands don't need any more large scale redundancies.

TGWU general secretary, Tony Woodley, promised a 'bumpy ride' if redundancies are announced. We need a massive campaign amongst the workers of Birmingham and the West Midlands to defend these jobs.

When tens of thousands of workers marched through Birmingham in April 2000, the socialist called for the nationalisation of Rover under democratic workers' control and management. We called for no job losses and no asset-stripping but we also demanded for the bosses' books to be opened to scrutiny. Where have all the profits and subsidies gone?

These demands are even more relevant now as a new set of asset-strippers prepare to take their cut of the profits made by the skills and labour of car workers.

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


In The Socialist 12 February 2005:

Defend pensions: All out on 23 March

Time to make a stand on pensions

NUT leadership wriggle over pension action

Incapacity benefit: New Labour hits the poor and vulnerable

Bolsover protesters win round one of toxic waste battle

Crisis time in Welsh hospitals

Immigration policy: Labour apes the Tories - again

Longbridge workers still fighting to defend jobs

Left victory in firefighters' union

UNISON general secretary election: Prentis attacks the opposition

Financing the fightback

May Day Greetings

Iraq - mobilise to withdraw the troops

Huge crowd cheers Chavez's radical speech at World Social Forum 2005

Socialism can 'make poverty history'

Northern Ireland decommissioning crisis: The failure of sectarian politics

Slovakia: Multinational victimises trade unionists

Scottish Socialist Party: Clear socialist alternative needed


 

Home   |   The Socialist 12 February 2005   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Car industry:

triangleCar workers strike at BMW in defence of pensions

triangleCourt slams Tory air quality plans

triangleReview: 'On the Track' by Bill Mullins

triangleThem & Us

triangleIs UK car building back in Top Gear?

Jobs:

triangleCarillion and the construction industry

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

trianglePlans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleRBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

Socialist Party:

triangleTeesside Socialist Party: 'Fake' Trump! What's really going on in the US?

triangleTheatre: 'Young Marx' shows growth in great platform for his ideas

triangleSouthern Socialist Party conference

Socialist:

triangleSocialist Party women's meeting brings together members to share experiences

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: Is there a global nuclear threat?

Birmingham:

triangleHome care workers to strike

Redundancies:

triangleBrighton victory

China:

triangleStop repression in Hong Kong and China

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

17/1/18

Women

Socialist Party women's meeting brings together members to share experiences

17/1/18

Newham

Packed Newham meeting against academies

17/1/18

Liverpool

Lobby pushes Liverpool council to oppose privatisation

17/1/18

Barking

Heating scandal on east London estate

17/1/18

Policing

Undercover policing legal challenge

17/1/18

Woolwich

No to the Woolwich monster block

17/1/18

Union

Workplace news in brief

17/1/18

Union

PCS union 2018 elections - nominate the left slate for a continued fighting leadership

17/1/18

Hackney

Hackney school cleaners strike

17/1/18

RMT

RMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

17/1/18

Yorkshire

Ferrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

17/1/18

Cuts

We must fight all council cuts!

17/1/18

Socialist Party

Southern Socialist Party conference

16/1/18

Birmingham

Home care workers to strike

12/1/18

Waltham Forest

Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

More ...

triangle23 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangle23 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangle24 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

triangle24 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

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