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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 April 2009

Visteon workers fight on

Taking the protest to the Ford showrooms in Rayleigh, photo by Neil Cafferky

Taking the protest to the Ford showrooms in Rayleigh, photo by Neil Cafferky

On 25 April Basildon town centre was practically taken over by Visteon workers and supporters during a day of action to highlight their fight for justice. Workers at Visteon in Basildon and at plants in Enfield and Belfast were summarily sacked nearly four weeks ago and have been protesting since then to get what is rightfully theirs in redundancy packages and pensions.

Eleanor Donne, Basildon Socialist Party

The Basildon workers have also taken their protests to Ford showrooms in Essex (Ford is the company that transferred the plants to Visteon), and following the very successful demonstration in Basildon during Easter weekend, decided to hit the town centre again.

Around 40 of us were out with banners, flags, collecting buckets and a megaphone. This was put to good use by the Visteon protesters with the slogans becoming ever more inventive as the day went on!

London Socialist Party meeting April 2009 with convenors from Visteon Basildon and Enfield, Rob Williams and Brian Denny, photo Paul Mattsson

London Socialist Party meeting April 2009 with convenors from Visteon Basildon and Enfield, Rob Williams and Brian Denny, photo Paul Mattsson

The clearest message though came from the ordinary people in Basildon who donated over 600 to the Visteon workers' collection buckets, and were obviously angry at how they have been treated.

We got lots of comments like: "Good on you, otherwise it'll be us next" and people telling us about their own experience of the recession.

London Socialist Party meeting April 2009 with convenors from Visteon Basildon and Enfield, Rob Williams and Brian Denny, photo Paul Mattsson

London Socialist Party meeting April 2009 with convenors from Visteon Basildon and Enfield, Rob Williams and Brian Denny, photo Paul Mattsson

Above all, the impression I got was that people were really glad to see a group of workers taking a stand.

With the help of members from London we had two Socialist Party stalls and found that people were also very open to socialist ideas too, as we sold 80 copies of The Socialist!

  • A benefit gig for the Visteon workers is being organised on 29 April by the No2EU campaign at the Castlemayne Pub, The Knares, Basildon SS16 5RZ.
  • London Socialist Party meeting April 2009 with convenors from Visteon Basildon and Enfield, Rob Williams and Brian Denny, photo Paul Mattsson

    London Socialist Party meeting April 2009 with convenors from Visteon Basildon and Enfield, Rob Williams and Brian Denny, photo Paul Mattsson

    Video: Support Visteon Workers Basildon and Enfield convenors are joined by Rob Williams, Convenor Linamar (formerly Visteon) Swansea, speak to the Socialist Party together with workers and stewards from the plants.

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    In The Socialist 29 April 2009:

    Fight for jobs!

    Youth Fight for Jobs launch conference

    Olympics: Defend jobs, pay and conditions


    Socialist Party election campaign

    European elections: Build support for a workers' alternative to Labour


    Stop Press

    STOP PRESS: Key union activist sacked


    Socialist Party workplace news

    Sacked workers protest in Newcastle


    Socialist Party news and analysis

    Budget 2009 - debts passed to all of us

    Does the 'botch it' budget benefit young people?

    It's tough at the top!

    Jack Jones obituary


    International socialist news and analysis

    Workers' internationalism: A history of the first four socialist international organisations

    Sri Lanka war: Rajapakse regime ignores Tamils' plight in renewed army offensive


    NUT feature

    National Union of Teachers conference: Fighting "teaching-on-the-cheap"

    Hands off Lewisham Bridge school!

    Being a new teacher - a shock to the system


     

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