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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 September 2008

Southampton

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.

Nick Chaffey

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

  • STOP PRESS. On 15 September Ford announced they will end Transit production in Southampton in 2011. The trade unions believe this will effectively mean the closure of the plant.
  • 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.

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    In The Socialist 17 September 2008:


    Credit crunch

    It's time to fight back!


    Socialist Party editorial

    Capitalist crisis - Karl Marx was right


    Anti-racism

    No to racism: Yes to decent jobs, homes & services!


    Socialist Party campaigns

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    Conflict in Georgia - independent position needed

    Brown's feeble fuel package


    Labour Party conference protest

    Protest at war and occupation

    Welcome to the real Manchester

    Fighting city needs a fighting party

    Panicky MPs turn on Labour


    Privatisation and closure

    No to post office closures

    Protesters tackle Metro privatisation


    Socialist Party feature

    Middle East: End imperialist aggression!


    Socialist Party workplace news

    London bus strike: "Showing them our power"

    Pickets cheer in West London

    Ford workers meet to defend jobs

    Journalists win union recognition victory

    2008 Trades Union Congress: Pressure from below begins to show

    Swansea rail workers fighting for a living wage

    fastnews


    International socialist news and analysis

    Interview with Cindy Sheehan: "Some kind of populist uprising needs to happen"

    Scotland: Tactical questions for local government pay battle


    Socialist Party review

    'Bob Marley' reviewed by Jason Toynbee


     

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