Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/548/6406
Ford workers meet to defend jobs
On 11 September, Ford workers and their supporters met to discuss the recent job cuts of 120 contract workers at Ford in Southampton and the threat hanging over the future of the plant. It remains unclear what will happen, the last few weeks have fuelled the rumour mill, an announcement is expected soon.
There has been shock and anger at the threat to the plant from workers, their families and the city as a whole. "When an announcement is made it will focus minds. I've got 10 years left and Ford won't offer that in a redundancy package", said one worker.
"When I left school you could go to Pirellis, AC Delco, Vospers, Bats, Ford and half a dozen more. Now Fords are all that's left. Where will kids go if Ford goes?" That was the view of Perry McMillan, Unite member and local taxi driver.
Messages of support came from other workers at the meeting who talked about their own disputes and the general attacks facing all workers.
Sue Philp from the PCS and a rep for coastguards reported on their recent strike and the scandalous attitude to these important workers from the civil service bosses and the low pay they suffer. Sue had family of her own working at Ford and explained what a devastating affect closure would have beyond the plant and across the city.
Ford workers at the meeting called for a campaign to save jobs at the plant and agreed to hold a further meeting on 21 September and invite workers from the other shift to attend.
The message was clear, that attacks on this plant would be met with a fight.
Meeting: Defend Ford Jobs. 21 September, 7pm, Swaythling Neighbourhood Centre, Hampton Park Way. For more information ring Nick on 07833 681910
The company say they will replace the Transit with the production of a "chassis cab vehicle" but this would probably mean the loss of 700-800 jobs.
In The Socialist 17 September 2008:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party campaigns
Labour Party conference protest
Privatisation and closure
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review