Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 February 2019

From anger to action to save Honda plant

A national mobilisation is needed of all car workers who face closures and redundancies, photo P Mason

A national mobilisation is needed of all car workers who face closures and redundancies, photo P Mason   (Click to enlarge)

Roger Thomas, Socialist Party South West

On 19 February, Honda announced it would be stopping production of the Honda Civic along with plans for the complete closure of the Swindon plant by 2021, with the loss of 3,500 jobs.

Workers expressed horror and shock at the announcement. These plans will have a devastating effect on the local economy - not just in the plant itself but also in the scores of local firms that supply and service it from the surrounding area. Up to 12,000 jobs could be affected in a town of 180,000.

This announcement was not even made directly to the workforce but instead delivered via the media. This shows Honda's contempt for its own employees. One group of workers even learned the news from their sick colleague - who saw it on TV and phoned his workmates to see if they had heard anything.

One worker compared the likely effect of the plan to the devastating impact of the railworks closure in the 1980s. Another pondered what would replace well-paid jobs in a local economy of warehouses rather than manufacturing.

The company also confirmed that it will close a plant in Turkey, moving all of its European production to a factory in Japan. They put this move down to changes in the global economy, the recent signing of a trade deal between the EU and Japan, and the continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Much of the anger of workers was focused on pro-capitalist politicians who seem unable to resolve the climate of confusion and inertia which emanates from Westminster.

The Honda shop stewards have a proud record of defending their members. They have worked hard to build up union organisation at the plant and have been big supporters of the National Shop Stewards Network.

In 2011, Unite convenor Paddy Brennan won his reinstatement after being suspended by management. Plans are being put in place for a demonstration in Swindon to defend the plant.

The response of the labour movement in Swindon must be firm. Yes, negotiations should take place to try and secure the plant. But a determined campaign to mobilise the workforce and community is vital. This should start with a demonstration through the town - led by the shop stewards and calling for the nationalisation of the plant by an incoming Jeremy Corbyn government.

Indeed, Corbyn must give his complete and immediate support to the workforce in their fight to defend these jobs - placing as much pressure as possible on the government.

Any town-wide demonstration could be as big as the one that took place to defend the Longbridge plant in Birmingham when it was threatened with closure.

Unite the Union needs to put its national resources behind this fight, linking with the local shop stewards and mobilising the entire community and labour movement to defend these jobs and to keep car manufacturing in Swindon.

This could act as a national mobilisation for all workers who face closures or large-scale redundancies, such as at Ford Bridgend and Airbus in north Wales.

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

In The Socialist 27 February 2019:

What we think

Honda closure threatened

From anger to action to save Honda plant

Socialist Party feature

Defending the city that dared to fight

Council cuts

Kirklees: Labour and Green councillors refuse to fight the cuts

Leicester: cuts passed in record time - use the 100m reserves!

Worcestershire: save the nine libraries

Socialist Party news and analysis

Kick out austerity politicians

Socialist change, not climate change!

Tory education 'reforms'

Blairite traitor Ian Austin - byelection now!

Cuts councils massage homelessness figures

US: "Launch a mass, working-class fightback"

Workplace news and analysis

Supermarket giants merger: protect jobs and fight price hikes

Birmingham Bin workers and home carers strike on same day

University and College Union: anti-union laws frustrate strike ballot again

Manchester posties strike against bullying

Liverpool Women's Hospital

PCS union: help us win the elections and pay campaign

South East Unison annual general meeting votes for no-cuts budgets

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

E-subscribe to the Socialist today!

Tommy Robinson BBC demo: socialist fightback needed to undermine far right

Nottingham Labour Corbyn rally

PCS union branch opposes cuts to women's services

International Women's Day meetings and other events

Five years on - and still no justice for Zane


Non-fiction: 'Unhealthy Profits: PFI in the NHS'

Art exhibition: 'Unobtania' by Peter Robson

The Socialist inbox


Home   |   The Socialist 27 February 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleFight the closures save every job!

triangleHonda bosses confirm closure: Unite must signal it will fight

triangleWorkers discuss action to save Honda jobs

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

triangleSwindon: Demonstration to save the Honda plant


triangleSupport the Honda workers: nationalise to save jobs

triangleNationalise to save jobs at Honda!

triangleBMW strikers determined to win pensions dispute

triangleCar workers strike at BMW in defence of pensions

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



End profiteering from health - nationalise big pharma



Prepare now for the struggles after 12 December


The Socialist

Keep up to date with our election coverage



News in brief



Hillsborough justice eluded



Unite against terrorism, racism, war and austerity


Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: strike action by NHS workers



Resist attacks against free speech on campus



End council cuts now, to end Tory austerity!



Tories launch 'non manifesto'



Labour's manifesto: fight to transform hope into a socialist society



Prince Andrew outrage exposes establishment



Tory election campaign's dirty tricks and lies



Wages flatline, while shareholders profit



Broadband: privatisation has failed to deliver, time for a socialist plan

triangleMore News and socialist analysis 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



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: 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



Alphabetical listing

December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019