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Fight every Job Loss
AFTER THE BMW bosses sold Rover to vulture capitalists Alchemy, thousands of jobs in Rover's West Midlands plants were threatened. Cowley works in Oxford also cut production by over 50%.
Cost-cutting bosses threaten similar devastation to other workplaces, such as Harland and Wolff in Belfast. The capitalist class threaten what little remains of British manufacturing industry.
What's going to happen to Rover workers? A Longbridge night-shift worker told The Socialist that ever since the first threats last year, he'd been looking for another job. But his local JobCentre only offers jobs on the national minimum wage (£3.60 an hour).
The Rover worker currently gets £8 an hour and he's got three young kids. How could he afford to live if he got made redundant?
The hype around the budget, that it was a give-away budget, was a con. Brown's 'prudence' has come from depriving public spending of £40 billion in the past four years. Public-sector workers have suffered for that.
Meanwhile Brown's budget threatened unemployed people. It extended the New Deal scheme to the long-term adult unemployed and many lone parents.
How long will it be before workers like those at Rover, on being made redundant, have to go straight onto this pay-cutting scheme? Unemployed people who refuse any job offered to them could face getting their benefits removed.
Workers at Rover are fighting back with protests. They can see that capitalism has no answers. The unions must mobilise their members to fight every threat to jobs.
The whole workforce, backed by their local communities, must unite to force the Labour government to nationalise Rover and any other company which threatens mass lay-offs.
JOIN THE fight to save Rover! Join the demo organised by Rover shop stewards. Saturday 1 April. Assemble 10amat Jennens Road, off Masshouse Circus. March to Cannon Hill Park for 1pm Rally, (opposite Edgbaston cricket ground), Birmingham.
In The Socialist 24 March 2000: