All Campaigns subcategories:
Workplace and TU campaigns keywords:
Uncertain future for workers
INDIAN CONGLOMERATE Tata has bought Jaguar & Land Rover (JLR) from Ford for £1.15 billion - half the price they originally paid for the businesses. Apparently, the jobs of over 16,000 workers have been secured by the deal.
Rob Williams, Convenor, Swansea Visteon Plant
However, with an eye on what happened in Longbridge in MG Rover and also TVR in Blackpool, where British car workers were promised a rescue plan and then thrown on the scrapheap, these workers and the thousands who depend on them in the component manufacturers, will adopt a 'wait and see' approach'.
In reality, Ford is using the profitable Land Rover as a sweetener to offload the ailing Jaguar. But they are responsible for this with their disastrous policy of trying to make Jaguar into a mass-selling car. In fact, they only succeeded in downgrading it and losing its 'executive' appeal.
This was part of Ford's plan for world domination in the 1980s and 1990s when they also took over Volvo and Aston Martin.
This was OK when the gas guzzlers were selling in the US's boom economy. Now boom has turned to bust Ford has been shattered.
While union leaders welcomed the purchase, workers will tread carefully. Ford and Tata directors and shareholders will always act in their own interests. Ford is brutally making its workforce pay the price for its failures in the USA, with its new contract of about £7 an hour - a 50% cut.
Tata will be fully prepared to move against its workforce to protect its profits. This will be multiplied if, as expected, the world economy tips into recession.
Already JLR suppliers are being warned that they have to be 'competitive' to keep supplying. Yet there are thousands of UK jobs in this sector.
No doubt, union leaders see Tata as the 'lesser evil' but there is another alternative. JLR should be nationalised with no compensation paid to rich Ford shareholders or other fat cats.
This would secure JLR workers' jobs but only on the basis of workers control and management, not the 'Old' Labour nationalisations of the past which kept the bosses in control. This would be a beacon to Britain's three million manufacturing workers.
27 May Reckless, lying cheats
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
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: 07748 534 891
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