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MG Rover - 20,000 jobs under threat
The Ugly Face of Capitalism
"OUR ECONOMIC record will be at the centre of the election campaign" declared Tony Blair. A few weeks later over 20,000 workers in Birmingham, the West Midlands and elsewhere face losing their jobs with the collapse of MG Rover.
One million manufacturing jobs have been destroyed since New Labour came to power in 1997. At the same time the number of millionaires has doubled.
Blair and New Labour gave their full backing to the 'Phoenix Four' who were given Rover for just £10 in 2000. 'Vulture Four' would be a more apt name. In five years they have bled MG Rover of £40 million to line their own pockets, while the company was making massive losses.
6,000 Rover workers, their families and thousands more working-class people face an uncertain future of unemployment, low-paid jobs (if they're lucky) and insecure retirement. But Phoenix bosses don't have to worry about their future. They've robbed £16.2 million from Rover to build a pension pot for themselves.
The maximum redundancy pay for a Rover worker (with 12 years experience or more) will be just £3,360!
The Financial Times called this "capitalism at its ugliest". We say this is capitalism full stop. MG Rover is not an exception. The capitalist free-market system is all about the super-exploitation of workers to maximise the profits of a rich elite. It's this 'ugly' system that New Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats all support.
The Socialist Party stands for a different way of organising the economy and society; one where companies like MG Rover are publicly owned and controlled so that the economy can be democratically planned to meet the needs of the majority not to enrich a privileged few.
If you agree with that, then vote socialist on 5 May. But don't stop there. Join the Socialist Party and help build a new workers' party that can fight for a better future.
In The Socialist 14 April 2005: