Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/576/7188
Taking the battle forward
Basildon sacked Visteon car workers demonstrate, photo Greg Maughan
The Visteon struggle is entering its fourth week and a critical phase. The occupation at Belfast is continuing and if anything strengthening. And the Belfast workers have led a major march for jobs in the city. Rob Williams, the convenor of the Linamar (ex-Visteon) plant in Swansea has visited the pickets and occupation and spoke to The Socialist about the way forward.
"In Enfield and Basildon, the plants are surrounded 24/7 by sacked Visteon workers, preventing the administrators removing the machinery. It is this action, including initial sit-ins at Enfield and Basildon that forced Visteon corporate management from the US to come to London to talk to the workers they sacked on 31 March. However, their 'offer' was derisory - 90 days pay on top of their statutory redundancy.
Quite rightly, this has been rejected and the struggle stepped up. Now the Visteon workers have to turn towards the Ford plants for active support, particularly Bridgend and Dagenham engine plants.
The Ford convenors and senior stewards have met and reiterated their support for these workers who were mainly Ford workers when Visteon was created by Ford in 2000.
But this support must be turned into solidarity action - boycotting Visteon parts. If any Ford workers are then disciplined, all Ford plants should stop. Meetings should be organised at each Ford plant between Ford and Visteon stewards explaining why Ford should be forced to the table as Visteon workers look to save their jobs or at least get Ford redundancy pay and pensions. This message should then be delivered by both sets of stewards to factory gate meetings at the Ford plants asking for support.
All workers, not just Visteon and Ford, can't afford for this battle to end in defeat. In the middle of the worst recession for 60 years, all companies, particularly those with huge deficits in their final salary pensions, could see administration as the closure tool of choice - sacking workers on a pittance and putting pensions into the 'compensation' scheme that is the Pension Protection Fund. Therefore, get your messages of support in.
In The Socialist 22 April 2009:
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party workplace news