Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/559/6668

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 December 2008

"We won't pay for bosses' crisis"

Fight back now against job cuts

Unite trade union demonstration outside Labour Party conference 2007, photo Bob Severn

Unite trade union demonstration outside Labour Party conference 2007, photo Bob Severn

Ford Workers and their supporters gathered in Southampton on 26 November to promote their campaign to win £100 million investment needed to build the new Transit in 2011. The rally had been called by the Unite union, in conjunction with a meeting they were having with Tory council leaders.

Nick Chaffey, Save The Transit campaign

At the eleventh hour, Tory leaders called off the meeting because Unite refused to cancel the rally, claiming that it had 'politicised' the issue, citing the role the Socialist Party and others have played in the campaign.

The decision was certainly not a vote-winner for the Tories amongst those attending the rally, with plant convenor Colin Ryan calling for the Tories to be punished at the next elections!

Fords: Our jobs - here to stay

Fords: Our jobs - here to stay

The rally was a significant step forward, bringing together Ford workers, Unite and the Save The Transit campaign. Local trade unions had mobilised support for the rally with members from Southampton and Hampshire Unison, Southampton trades council, PCS and students from the university. Other car workers joined the rally from the Linimar plant in South Wales.

Ian Woodland, Unite officer for Ford Southampton, thanked those attending for their support: "The loss of Transit production in Southampton would be a devastating blow to the local economy. Today is the launch of the campaign. We need to build a community-wide campaign to save the Transit. We will be organising a demonstration in Southampton in the New Year."

Colin Ryan, Unite convenor, appealed for the strongest possible campaign to keep the Transit in Southampton and echoed the call for a massive demonstration in Southampton in the New Year.

Rob Williams, Unite convenor at Linimar, raised the need for solidarity from car workers across the industry: "Car workers are watching developments closely in Southampton, the economic crisis has put jobs at risk around the country. Our union nationally needs to ensure every car worker and their families are able to attend the demo by providing free coaches to Southampton."

The council's decision to abandon the talks has added fuel to the fire. On 28 November MPs from the area met with Ford Europe boss John Fleming who stated that Southampton was losing money and things had to change.

The MPs, who were shocked at the comments Fleming made, appear to be satisfied with a cut in production and a reduced workforce and show little appetite for the necessary fight.

They should have demanded to see the evidence for such claims and to see the company's books. After all it should be remembered Ford have received taxpayers' money in the past.

Contract workers at Ford, working for Hamptons, have been forced to battle for shutdown pay after their firm wrote to them saying they would get £20 a day for the first week and nothing for the following three weeks. Workers were outraged and reacted angrily to the news.

After negotiations with the company, they have been given the same terms as Ford workers for the period of the shutdown. A significant victory and more evidence of what can be won through struggle.

Elsewhere VFS, who do Transit conversions, have sacked 100 workers at their Southampton factory, further sign of the rapid crisis affecting the car industry.

More than ever the urgent need to build a mass campaign led by Unite and Southampton Ford workers is the key to winning the needed investment in Southampton and protecting jobs across the country.

At the same time we must raise the need for nationalisation in the event that Ford's renege on their agreements.

Ford workers at the plant are determined to ensure this campaign succeeds and understand the tasks in front of them. The Socialist Party has played a prominent role in supporting this struggle and texts and emails of thanks from Ford workers were received after the rally.

The Southampton plant will shut for a month over Christmas, losing workers hundreds of pounds. Angry worker Tony told The Socialist:

"At least we have a job at the moment, unlike many thousands who do not, due to the maverick management of our banks.

"We will be laid off on Friday 5 December and have an uncertain future. Unite have promised to take this campaign to a higher level and have called for an automotive mass demo.

"This crisis shows the whole capitalist system for what it really stands for, making money out of our sweat and toil without allowing us to enjoy the most basic needs. Capitalism sells dreams that always turn into nightmares for the working class. A young generation is now finding this out."


The National Shop Stewards Network is organising a meeting for car workers and those in ancillary industries:

Saturday 14 February 2009. 12-4pm, The Birmingham and Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham B3 3BS.

Please encourage your union branch/workplace to sponsor this meeting and send delegates (£5 per delegate or visitor).

See also: www.shopstewards.net or PO Box 58262, London N1P 1ET.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 3 December 2008:


Job losses

Fight back now against job cuts

Woolworths jobs threat

Fighting the threatened closure of Hoover factory


Environment and socialism

Our planet not their profit


Socialist Party editorial

India and Pakistan conflict

Terror mayhem strikes Mumbai


Socialist Party campaigns

Judiciary challenged over the right to protest

Building a left wing political alternative

Southampton uni students fight fees

Liverpool: mobilising against the far right

In brief


Comment

Social workers demand proper resources

Secondary education: PFI's gloss soon peels away


Socialist Party LGBT

Fighting homophobia


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Crisis-hit capitalism fears prospect of revolution


International socialist news and analysis

Venezuela elections: Chávez wins victory but opposition gains ground


Marxist analysis: history

The Isle of Man general strike 1918: Workers' power paralysed government


Socialist Party news and analysis

Help fund the alternative to big business politics

Socialist women: Looking at the past to take action today


Housing crisis

Stop the repossessions

New Labour's housing crisis


Socialist Party workplace news

Vote 'no' to BT's pension cuts

A Christmas message from the Unite leadership

Dover docks strikes

Appledore shipyard


 

Home   |   The Socialist 3 December 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Ford:

triangleFord workers vote for action

triangleVote for action to save Ford plant

triangleBridgend Ford overtime stoppage in sourcing dispute

trianglePrecise, visceral account of working class heroism

triangleLeaked document threatens jobs and conditions at Ford Bridgend

Southampton:

triangleSocialist Students day of action demands free education

triangleSouthampton: Corbynista success but cuts continue

triangleStrikers picket the South Western Railway network

triangleTeachers, students and parents demand an end to the schools funding crisis

Unite:

triangleArriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangleSupport the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

Car workers:

triangleObituary: Derek Robinson, car workers' leader, 1927-2017

triangleBosses' pensions robbery

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/12/17

Haringey

Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

16/12/17

North West

Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle16 Dec Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangle16 Dec Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2