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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 April 2019

Swindon workers discuss action to save Honda jobs

Honda union rep Donald McDougall speaking at the

Honda union rep Donald McDougall speaking at the   (Click to enlarge)

Tom Baldwin, South West Socialist Party organiser

Honda union rep Donald McDougall advised workers not to look to 'the union' to save them: the union is made of its members, and it's the members who need to stand together in action to save their jobs.

A meeting on 4 April called by the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) followed the demonstration to save Honda jobs in Swindon. The meeting was addressed by Unite union shop steward Donald, and NSSN chair Rob Williams.

We discussed the way forward for the Honda campaign and how other workers could support it. All those in attendance agreed the demonstration had been a good start, raising the confidence of workers in the plant and helping build support from others in the town.

Honda plans to close its Swindon factory in 2021, with the loss of 3,500 direct jobs and up to 15,000 in the supply chain. Donald explained that - although the plant is still profitable - the company is unwilling to put in the necessary investment.

The loyal and skilled workers in Swindon will be the ones to pay the price for this decision. Donald described the knock-on effect of how losing well-paid Honda jobs would push down other wages locally.

One of those attending the meeting was a shop steward at a component manufacturing plant in Oxford which supplies Honda, indicating how far and wide the effects of the factory's closure would be felt.

Rob gave the example of factory occupations by Visteon workers ten years ago, which had won tens of millions of pounds for workers from parent company Ford. He said that industrial action may be necessary, alongside the 'leverage' campaign that Unite is planning to put pressure on the company. For example, action may be needed to stop machinery being removed from the factory floor.

Donald described how the stewards had built the union at Honda from scratch, and the victories they had won in the past. This included the reinstatement of factory convener Paddy Brennan who had been facing dismissal on trumped-up charges.

The meeting once again reflected that there is a willingness to fight. Nothing is guaranteed, and the plant can still be saved.


NSSN 2019 conference

Saturday 6 July 11am-4.30pm

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

shopstewards.net

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In The Socialist 10 April 2019:


What we think

Corbyn must demand general election, defend workers' interests and fight for a socialist Brexit


Climate change

Organise against climate change, austerity and capitalism

Only socialism can stop capitalism's plastic problem


International socialist news and analysis

Algeria: Bouteflika is finished but the Algerian revolution is not!

China: police state in Xinjiang under global spotlight


Local elections

Local government in crisis: councillors can fight cuts!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Boot out the Tories - end austerity

Stop Tory NHS destruction

Gender pay gap widening

Them & us


Workplace news and analysis

PCS: vote Yes for action, back socialists in the elections!

NEU conference: organise for the key battles to come

Swindon workers discuss action to save Honda jobs

Southampton Hospital security workers strike

Support the Glasgow Airport pay and pensions strike

London Overground cleaners strike for better pay


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Leicester Socialist Party letter for no-cuts budget

Walthamstow: end the school funding crisis

Reject the rotten NUS 'reforms'

Leicester NHS Trust and the brutal reality of cuts

Social cleansing continues in Southwark

Newcastle anti-fascist demo

South Yorkshire Freedom Riders - still battling on

Gateshead FC crisis: save our Heed!

Health Campaigns Together AGM success


Opinion

Low pay, long hours, isolation - a taxi driver speaks out

'Traitors': Cold War cloak and daggers as capitalist powers spy on allies


 

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