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Hoover workers march in protest at job losses
Hoover workers march off from the factory, photo by Socialist Party Wales
People on the streets of Merthyr applauded as over 200 Hoover workers marched from the factory to the town centre to protest at the threat to 337 jobs by Candy, the parent company.
Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales
Shop stewards have been told that production will end on 27 February or 13 March at the latest. After 60 years of making profits in the plant, workers will be thrown on the scrapheap with the minimum redundancy payments. Workers are angry that Candy is using the recession to sack Merthyr workers and shift production to China where they can exploit cheap labour.
Shop steward Roger Williams was pleased with the turnout on the march. "We were a little worried how many workers would come on the march but we have a great turnout," he said, "it shows the strength of feeling in the plant".
The march also showed the huge support that would exist if workers in the plant were encouraged by their union leaders to fight to save production.
Socialist Party members distributed leaflets calling for the Wales Assembly to step in to save jobs and for the government to nationalise and invest in the plant. If the government can spend billions to bail out the bankers why not spend a few million to save jobs?
Unfortunately union leaders, and the Assembly Member and MP have accepted that the plant will close. Huw Lewis, Welsh Labour leader contender, merely called for Assembly funding for regeneration of the site. Already, before the plant has even closed, there is a plan for re-development of the site with shops and factory units.
But Hoover workers now know the support is there if they were to fight the job losses.
In The Socialist 21 January 2009:
War and occupation
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party review