Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/25816

Posted on 10 July 2017 at 14:37 GMT

Vote for action to save Bridgend Ford plant

Ford plans to 'run down' its plant at Bridgend, south Wales, photo Mike Mozart (Creative Commons)

Ford plans to 'run down' its plant at Bridgend, south Wales, photo Mike Mozart (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Rob Williams, Socialist Party national industrial organiser and former Visteon (ex-Ford) Unite convenor

Bridgend Ford workers will be voting on industrial action when ballot papers go out at the end of this week. They want answers.

They know that the clock is ticking and the future of the plant is on the line. The time to act is now before it is too late.

This struggle is one of the most important in south Wales for years and is as crucial to retaining Welsh manufacturing as the fight to save Port Talbot steelworks last year. It is absolutely vital that the whole Welsh trade union movement gives full support and solidarity to the Ford unions and their members, who could be on strike as early as August.

Back in February, general union Unite alerted its members in the factory that Ford's sourcing plans going forward would mean that 1,160 out of 1,800 jobs would be lost - putting the viability of the engine plant in doubt.

Correctly, Unite told Ford that if it didn't change its plans, or at least enter serious talks, the union would consult members on balloting for industrial action.

However, in the meantime - after being provoked by management, who stopped union notices going onto the shop floor - members stopped working overtime.

This was always meant to send a signal to the company that members are serious and it can't be 'business as usual' while the shadow of doubt hangs over the plant. This has been reinforced by the indicative ballot result.

Just as happened with the coal and steel industries when they contracted, Bridgend has become the Ford plant of last resort. So there will be workers from the plant who transferred from the closed factories in Treforest, Swansea and Southampton, who know very well about Ford's ruthlessness.

The main lesson of these closures is that the time to take action to put pressure on Ford to change its plans is when you are making products that Ford needs. We therefore welcome the recent letter from Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, updating members on developments and committing the union to an official industrial action ballot.

But support has to be built for it to ensure that the higher voting thresholds set by the Tories' latest Trade Union Act are overcome. It is a scandal that a Conservative government that couldn't win a majority in the election is able to impose undemocratic restrictions on workers, especially those who are fighting for their livelihoods.

This week, in the run-up to ballot papers going out, there need to be plant meetings addressed by the union both from inside and outside the plant to give members confidence to vote for action.

The biggest possible 'yes' vote and the preparedness to take the necessary action will put the maximum pressure on Ford to talk properly to the union - about committing to sourcing that will maintain the plant at its current size.

At the same time, the workforce has to send a clear message to Ford: any attempt to take out machinery will be met with an immediate stoppage. If the company tries to stop the union organising plant meetings with its own representatives and officers, the union should call them outside if necessary.

It is Ford - not the union - that has created this crisis, which has caused stress for workers and their families through its sourcing announcement.

There also has to be a national meeting of Ford convenors and shop stewards to discuss solidarity to ensure that Bridgend isn't isolated. If this plant closes, it will only make it easier to close the rest.

And pressure must be put on the Labour-led Welsh assembly government to intervene.

If necessary, it should take the plant into public ownership to keep Bridgend open and save jobs and the community. The general election showed that Jeremy Corbyn's policies for public ownership in railways, utilities and Royal Mail are popular with workers.

It's time to step up the fight to save Bridgend plant.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 10 July 2017 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Bridgend:

triangleNSSN meeting determined to fight for Ford workers

triangleFord Bridgend workers vote to fight to save threatened plant

triangleWales NSSN: Support the Ford Bridgend workers - No Closure

triangleNationalise Ford to prevent closure

triangleFord closure announcement must be met with united response of defiance

Ford:

triangleAusterity anger feeds movement for Welsh independence

triangleUnions must fight and demand nationalisation to save thousands of car industry jobs

triangle'Made in Dagenham' Ford machinists pay strike 50 years on

triangleEast London Socialist Party: 'Made in Dagenham' - Ford women workers' pay strike 50 years on

Union:

triangleUCU strikes: Union means business in fight against employers

triangleTrade union conference to force secret police disclosure

triangleRMT union members at SWR to walk out in December

Workers:

triangleBolivia: Right-wing coup ousts Morales

triangleTwitter's banning of political ads threatens workers' voice

Unite:

triangleBradford libraries and museums: Unite members escalate action against cuts

Strike:

triangleHigh Court injunction: solidarity to the CWU - support the posties!

South Wales:

triangleRail report into death of Cardiff Socialist Party member

Rob Williams:

triangle'McStrikers' demand 15 an hour

Manufacturing:

triangleClimate Change strike on 15th March 2019, London, photo by Paul Mattsson

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

13/11/19

Postal workers

Postal union determined to resist bosses' attacks

13/11/19

Socialist Party

I'm 90 and still a socialist

13/11/19

UCU

UCU strikes: Union means business in fight against employers

13/11/19

PCS

General secretary election: Enthusiastic support for Marion Lloyd

13/11/19

Socialism

Socialism 2019 - what you thought

13/11/19

Mansfield

We saved Chatsworth Ward - two years on

13/11/19

Fighting Fund

Help socialist ideas spread this election: donate!

13/11/19

Barking

Barking: protest brings pledge to remove dangerous decking

13/11/19

Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance

Trade union conference to force secret police disclosure

13/11/19

Climate change

Socialism 2019 rally: "Socialist change needed to end climate change"

13/11/19

Leicester

Leicester campaigns to save our NHS

13/11/19

Museums

Bradford libraries and museums: Unite members escalate action against cuts

13/11/19

NHS

Frimley NHS Trust strikes: Health workers walkout against privatisation

13/11/19

Workers

'McStrikers' demand 15 an hour

13/11/19

Socialist Students

Fighting for free education, jobs, homes, and a future worth living

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: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999