Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/364/5976
City-Wide Movement To Save Decent Jobs
COVENTRY IS a city under siege by the forces of global capitalism. Jaguar workers face a life on the dole as Ford, the giant multinational car manufacturer, plan to end Jaguar production in the city, with the closure of the Brown's Lane assembly plant.
Dave Griffiths and Bill Mullins
But the bosses' plans could come undone on the rock of workers' solidarity and fighting spirit. Many people have said to us on campaign stalls: "If this was France the whole city would be closed. The roads would be blocked. We're too timid in this country."
People know there is much more at stake than individual jobs, as important as they are. What is a stake is the whole future of the city and jobs for the city's young people.
The Socialist Party has already collected hundreds of signatures on a petition presented to the Tory-run council on 23 September by Socialist Party councillors Dave Nellist and Karen McKay.
The petition demands that the council organise a city-wide meeting to mobilise support for the Jaguar workers. It also calls for the council to organise a national demonstration in Coventry to defend the manufacturing base of Britain's economy.
The council is considering doing this, but if action isn't forthcoming then the Jaguar trade unions, together with the other Coventry trade unions, should take the initiative. The Socialist Party will carry on piling on the pressure adding to the hundreds and hundreds of names on its petition.
The local paper has quoted a report which says that 88% of those made redundant at Massey Ferguson, which closed recently, have found work. But they admit that most workers are not using their skills but are doing jobs like lorry driving or working in call centres.
In other words they've admitted that hundreds haven't found work and that most of the rest are in worse jobs. They further admit that the skills of Jaguar workers would not be able to be used in the area in the future.
The Socialist Party is calling for a city-wide movement to save decent jobs. The shop stewards have voted unanimously to fight the closure. They took this to the shop floor and 86% voted to go to ballot. The Socialist Party in the city is pulling out all the stops in this campaign, one of the most important for years.
In The Socialist 2 October 2004:
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