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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 March 2017

Ford workers demand answers to Bridgend plant sourcing questions

Ford Visteon pensioners protest salutes the passing NUT and UCU strike action demo in London on 28 March 2012, photo Senan

Ford Visteon pensioners protest salutes the passing NUT and UCU strike action demo in London on 28 March 2012, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

Rob Williams, former Swansea plant convenor and National Shop Stewards Network chair

Ford workers in Bridgend, south Wales, want answers to the lack of sourcing which is putting the whole future of the Bridgend engine plant in doubt.

When the sourcing plans came out for UK plants, there was investment announced for Dagenham, Halewood and Dunton but there is virtual silence for Bridgend. Two contracts at the plant are finishing soon, while new projections for production of the Dragon engine have been cut in half.

Ford is saying that the 1,850 jobs are 'unaffected' but workers aren't stupid, they know that sourcing for engines has to be secured immediately.

Workers in Swansea and Southampton know what it's like when Ford lets a plant die. All of a sudden they become vague about future plans. The union is correct to demand answers now. In 2000 there were over 50,000 workers employed in Ford UK, now there are just around 10,000! It's clear what the trajectory is.

Unless the company confirms sourcing that maintains the present workforce on nationally agreed pay, terms and conditions and pensions, the unions must build a campaign for industrial action. But it must be national - the closures happened when plants were left isolated. If Bridgend closes, it will mean the other plants are left in a weaker position and closer to the end.

Alongside Port Talbot steelworks, this plant is absolutely crucial to Ford workers and their families but also the communities and wider Welsh economy. Last year, a tremendous campaign made it politically impossible to close the steelworks.

The Socialist Party unapologetically called for the works to be nationalised and taken into public ownership to save the jobs. If the steel unions had built a mass campaign on that demand, linked to the threat of industrial action, it could have been achieved.

The Ford unions must put pressure on the Labour Welsh Assembly to commit to nationalisation if Ford threatens to pull out.

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In The Socialist 1 March 2017:


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Build a movement to save our NHS

Reinstate the bursaries for student nurses now!

Grantham: 1,000 march for reopening of A&E

NHS England missing paperwork scandal

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Lessons of Russia 1917 for women's struggle today

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Workplace news and analysis

"I worked from 9am to 11.30pm with only one break"

Warehouse workers walk out over pay and pensions

Derby teaching assistants continue fight against 6,000 a year pay cut

Picturehouse strikers blockade Leicester Square

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Hearing into alleged rule-breaking by Unison ends

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Socialist Party Wales conference report

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Socialist readers' comments and reviews

The Socialist Inbox

What we saw


 

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Related links:

Bridgend:

triangleNSSN meeting determined to fight for Ford workers

triangleFord Bridgend workers vote to fight to save threatened plant

triangleWales NSSN: Support the Ford Bridgend workers - No Closure

triangleNationalise Ford to prevent closure

triangleFord closure announcement must be met with united response of defiance

Workers:

triangleBlack and Asian Covid-19 deaths: an indictment of capitalist inequality

triangleStrong union response needed against job cuts

trianglePosties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

triangleOrganising to fight for workplace safety

Ford:

triangleAusterity anger feeds movement for Welsh independence

triangleUnions must fight and demand nationalisation to save thousands of car industry jobs

triangle'Made in Dagenham' Ford machinists pay strike 50 years on

Unions:

triangleUnited action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan

triangleTrades council debates workers' political representation

Jobs:

triangleBail out the real wealth creators, not the rich

Rob Williams:

triangleWorkers fighting to defend safety and livelihoods - NSSN national meeting a huge success

Closures:

triangleFurther protests in Ireland against Debenhams closures - UK fightback needed

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