Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/500/3105

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 September 2007

Swansea: Visteon strike threat brings concessions

AS WE go to press, workers in the Swansea Visteon plant are voting on a company offer to settle their long-running dispute. Just a day before a strike was due to happen at the plant on 31 August, management put a proposal which consisted of significant concessions.

By a Visteon steward

The threat to make tradesmen into production operators was lifted. 40 of the 56 temporary workers will be offered permanent jobs and lastly, should the plant be sold off, every worker will receive 875. The shop stewards' committee is recommending acceptance.

But feelings are running high. The last few years of poor treatment by Visteon management have made the workforce suspicious of these concessions. The vote could be very close.

This year on 30 March, Visteon UK management walked into the Swansea plant and ripped up the sourcing agreement and stopped brake disc production. All the disc lines had at least two years left, two lines had at least four years left!

The company tried to justify it because Ford's Leamington foundry was closing but one of the new lines didn't even get their rough stock from Leamington!

Swansea employees immediately voted for an industrial action ballot but regrettably it took 14 weeks from that mandate to the first opportunity to take action. Unfortunately, by then the disc work had gone and over 80 permanent jobs. Should the plant's temporary workers have been laid off, over 150 hourly-paid jobs would have been lost.

The stewards' committee wanted to send a strong message to Visteon management that they couldn't just take work out of Swansea without a fight.

Because the company wanted to make 'excess' skilled workers into production operators, Swansea shop stewards wanted to act on the 'yes' votes for industrial action. They believed that the percentage of temporary workers should be reduced from 15% to 10%, giving some temps the opportunity to get a permanent job.

They also believed Swansea employees should be compensated financially for the company breaking the disc sourcing agreement. How many local manufacturing plants could have kept work if these brutal employers had to pay a penalty price every time they take out work and jobs without agreement?

The union has been accused of organising unofficial action over the last two years but the company responded to this legal, official action with brutal methods.

A 'work to rule' was meant to bring the company back to the negotiating table but while privately indicating that they were prepared to talk, they actually started to put workers 'off pay', the union believes illegally.

Twice recently, the company put assembly workers off pay (literally stop paying and then disciplining them) because they weren't able to produce the normal amount. This is on a line with half the number of its normal plattens (that deliver the work around the line)!

The company's own disciplinary procedures say that groups of individuals cannot be taken off pay together but this was just ignored.

Swansea workers are just told: "We have to prepare you for sale to Linamar" (from Canada). They are starting to worry about what it will be like to work in Swansea whoever owns the plant under these bullying tactics.

Swansea workers have no confidence in Visteon. They want a future which protects jobs, terms and conditions and pensions. Any future talks with Linamar have to give all the detail on these issues.

Despite all the bullying, harassment and intimidation over the last seven years, not just the last couple of weeks, Swansea Visteon workers have fought all the way to defend their jobs and conditions. They have also been to the forefront in supporting other workers in struggle from the firefighters to the postal workers.

Many workers will recognise this story from their own experience. Certainly tens of thousands of car workers know all about how the industry has been devastated by the 'race to the bottom'. The Visteon workers have shown that it is possible to buck the trend by forcing major concessions from management.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 6 September 2007:

Strike against public sector pay cap

Prison officers defy government's pay cap

Prison Officers' strike reports


Socialist Party workplace news

Strikers solid in London tubes stoppage

Swansea: Visteon strike threat brings concessions


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Defend Newcastle General Hospital

Sheffield Northern General Hospital bulk stores strike


Trades Union Congress

TUC conference resolutions need to lead to action

TUC conference fringe meeting


Socialist Party events

Socialism 2007 - a weekend of discussion and debate, hosted by the Socialist Party


Socialist Party news and analysis

Horror and heartbreak in Croxteth - What is the cause? What is the answer?

Massive deprivation in Norris Green, Liverpool


Socialist Party policy

The growing wealth gap


Education

Cardiff: More schools fight closures programme


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

'Agitate, educate, organise': the role of the workers' press


International socialist news and analysis

Greece is burning


Workplace news and analysis

Belfast Airport workers score a victory

Unison witch-hunt

Plymouth dockyard


Socialist Party reviews

Fela Kuti, revolutionary musician

'Holding Fire' by Jack Shepherd

Save the 'Westie' in Aldershot


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 September 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Swansea:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Should socialists support Welsh independence?

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Where is China going?

triangleSelling the Socialist in Swansea

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: The socialist case for nationalisation

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Class struggle and the role of the working class in changing society

Visteon:

triangleVisteon: when factory occupations stayed the hands of the bosses

triangleFord workers vote for action

trianglePotential new steel bosses refuse to take on pensions

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/9/20

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

16/9/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed

16/9/20

Young people

Covid generation says 'fund our future'

16/9/20

Coventry

Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges

16/9/20

NHS

Angry health workers demand 15% now!

16/9/20

Usdaw

Reinstate Richie Venton

16/9/20

Hull

Reinstate Tony Smith

16/9/20

Strike

Tate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally

16/9/20

London

London bus drivers begin strike ballot over remote sign-on dispute

16/9/20

Ireland

Ireland: Debenham's occupier speaks out

16/9/20

PCS

PCS members in DWP reject unsafe extension of hours

16/9/20

National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC

16/9/20

Socialist Party

Two weeks to donate: we need your help

9/9/20

Black Lives Matter

BLM: Socialist alternative to racist capitalism

9/9/20

Amazon

Fight Amazon's anti-union spies

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999