Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/7256
Linamar plan to lower terms and conditions
It has become clear why Linamar management sacked Swansea Unite Convenor and Socialist Party member Rob Williams on Wednesday. Group President Brian Wade outlined to Tony Woodley the Company's 'proposal' to lower terms and conditions within the plant.
Rally to support Rob next Wednesday - 13 May at 7.30 pm in the Dolphin Hotel, Swansea. Speakers include Frank Jepson (Convenor at Visteon Basildon) and Kevin Nolan (Convenor at Visteon Enfield).
All trade unionists welcome
This will involve 'buying down' (worsening) contracts with a one off 'sweetener' payment. There is no detail of amounts yet but it is clear that it will involve a substantial drop in wages, worse sick scheme etc.
Also, the Company announced that they fully intend breaking the agreement that they made with the union when they took the factory over last July. This was to establish a final salary pension scheme for those Ford-mirrored workers who were in the plant before Visteon spin-off in 2000, and for the Visteon New Hire contracts who were subsequently employed later.
Wade pretended to be concerned about the lack of a pension for the lowest tier in the plant - yet Linamar refused the union's call for them to get a pension last summer!
Therefore, the timing of Rob's sacking is of no surprise. It comes a week after 140 workers were made voluntarily redundant - including a number of senior stewards - and before the pay deals are to be concluded for two of the three contracts.
Incidentally, one of the last straws for management could well have been when the Ford-mirrored members refused Wade's 'offer', which was for them to refuse the 5.25% Ford pay rise. Ford pay rises have always been seen in the plant as the yardstick for all contract negotiations.
Clearly, Linamar management correctly could not "trust" that Rob Williams would recommend these attacks to the members!
Now the choice for Swansea workers is clear - fight the sacking of Rob and defend their terms and conditions and pensions and their right to work in a place free of intimidation or face a future of attack after attack.
In Canada before Christmas workers in all but one of the Linamar plants had their pay cut by 10%. They were informed of this by email!!
The only plant that didn't suffer this was unionised. Sooner or later, bullies like Wade and the Linamar management will be confronted by a workforce which is tired of being pushed around and walked over. It will inevitably happen, in Canada, China and Swansea.
With its great fighting traditions, Swansea Linamar workers could be in the forefront of defending their rights.