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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 November 2008

Fighting for a socialist solution to the crisis in the car industry

In the recession in the 'real' economy, the car industry is one of the first to be hit. Ford workers at Southampton have taken their first action against plans to close the plant there, whilst Ford at Dagenham is now on a three-day week.

Paula Mitchell, London Socialist Party

We went to the Dagenham plant with leaflets based on the excellent article in last week's edition of The Socialist (554). There are activists in the National Shop Stewards Network at the plant but we didn't really know what reception we would get.

We arrived at six on a freezing morning and found a spot where we could hand leaflets through a fence to workers walking from the car park to the factory door - better than trying to flag down drivers in the dark!

The welcome was overwhelmingly friendly. Because of the three-day week they are on 80% pay. Some workers were laid off last week and there are plans to lay more off in a month.

Workers said the situation "stinks", and most agreed that there needs to be a national trade union campaign to save jobs and factories, though there is frustration at what they see as a lack of leadership.

They were interested to hear of the walk-out at Southampton and agreed with the idea of a national car workers' demo. Our call for a car shop stewards' conference was supported, as was the demand that any plant threatened with closure or big cuts should be nationalised.

One worker explained that when Ford Europe had wanted to shut down the whole plant at Dagenham, the government gave all sorts of sweeteners to save engine production.

Why could they not take action again - not sweeteners to the bosses this time, but to take over the plant?

We talked about the need to start a fight back at Dagenham, and workers thought a meeting was necessary to discuss starting up a campaign to defend jobs.

Later that day we heard from one of the reps that our leaflets were all over the plant.

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In The Socialist 5 November 2008:

Striking against low pay


US election

Obama wins, neo-cons routed in US presidential elections

George Bush's toxic legacy

If Obama wins - Looking beyond the hope bubble


Socialist Party campaigns

Labour bashes lone parents

Canary Wharf: Low paid workers welcome socialist campaigners

Sri Lanka: Acting out oppression

What recession?

Fast news


Marxist analysis: history

1918 revolution: When German workers entered the stage of history


Socialist Students

New Labour retreats on promises to students

Victory over Tory school closure plan

Austria: Socialist players suspended from football club for anti-fascist activities

Year 9 SATs abolished: Now get rid of the rest!

Republic of Ireland: Student fightback


Socialist Party workplace news

Liverpool City Council: Housing maintenance workers fight for jobs

Fighting for a socialist solution to the crisis in the car industry

Shipyard strike for fair wage

Striking for trade union rights

Turkish dockers fight workplace 'massacres'


 

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