Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/186/8027
Vauxhall threatened by profits crisis
AS WE go to press, the multinational General Motors has announced the closure of the Vauxhall plant in Luton. This is a massive blow to the thousands of workers and their families in the area.
Duncan Simpson, the national officer of the AEEU union, is quoted as saying they will fight this closure "tooth and nail".
The closure comes soon after the Ford company decided to end car production in Dagenham and Nissan's decision not to build its new Micra in its Sunderland plant. Meanwhile, Rover's Longbridge plant remains in a precarious position as its money from BMW runs out.
The union leaders will have to put their money where their mouth is and mobilise the workers of the car industry against this latest attack. The high pound is undoubtedly a factor but more importantly the big motor manufacturers in the USA, Europe and Japan are preparing to cut back production world-wide as they face a crisis of falling sales and falling profits.
Last April 100,000 car workers marched through Birmingham in protest against the threat to close Longbridge. The union leaders at the time also said they would fight tooth and nail but then agreed to hand over Longbridge to another group of capitalists.
This latest closure of Vauxhalls in Luton makes it essential that the union leaders put their words into action.
They should immediately call an emergency conference of car workers' shop stewards and hammer out a programme to save the car industry which must be based upon nationalisation under democratic workers' control and management.
Only by adopting a socialist plan of production based upon the needs of society and not the profits of the few can there be a long-term solution to the threat of mass unemployment for large sections of car workers.
In The Socialist 15 December 2000: