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Visteon workers show: Action gets results
Visteon workers at Enfield during occupation of plant, photo Paul Mattsson
Sacked workers at the three closed Visteon UK plants in Enfield (London), Basildon (Essex), and Belfast (Northern Ireland) have won a momentous victory, a substantial financial package from their bosses.
They will end their pickets and occupations as soon as the money is in the bank.
Frank Jepson, Unite union convenor of Visteon Basildon, spoke to The Socialist giving the workers' reaction and explaining what happened during the course of their battle.
"The most important thing we have achieved is bringing Visteon and Ford to their knees, forcing them into a u-turn.
We've also achieved everyone standing together - Visteon workers and workers around the country, all stood together. I've only been convenor since 31 January.
The other guys gave me the confidence to do what I've done. Their trust in me and their willingness to make a stand has led to what we've achieved.
We've got a responsibility to carry on from this point. We need to try and hold together as a group, to support other people in the position we were in, to help make changes in order to protect other people from being exploited by capitalist corporations.
Basildon sacked Visteon car workers demonstrate, photo Greg Maughan
I don't want to stand still, I want to continue on the path of change, we need to continue stepping forward. Our victory shows that if you're determined to make a stand, you can beat the big companies. 600 workers beat Ford and Visteon. That's massive, a real David and Goliath.
I was totally confident we would get to this point, against all the odds, because of the determination and resolve, the refusal to stop no matter how many times they tried to demoralise us.
Our union leaders wouldn't have done this without feeling the pressure from us. We need unity in the ranks. This should give the leadership the spring, the push to fight other battles.
I'm standing as a No2EU - Yes to Democracy candidate in the European elections in June because of the lack of protection for employees by the government.
The anti-trade union laws are still in place despite the Labour government. We need change and I'm now in a position to do something about that."
In The Socialist 5 May 2009:
Defend victimised trade unionist
No 2 EU - Yes to Democracy
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party campaigns