Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 March 2019

Support the Honda workers: nationalise to save jobs

Honda Swindon workers, Belgian supply line workers, and Unite union executive members protesting outside parliament, 6.3.19, photo by London Socialist Party

Honda Swindon workers, Belgian supply line workers, and Unite union executive members protesting outside parliament, 6.3.19, photo by London Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Tom Baldwin , South West Socialist Party organiser

Honda's announcement that it will close its Swindon car plant in 2021 has been met with anger and dismay by workers. 3,500 jobs could go in the factory itself and as many as 15,000 are at risk including the supply chain.

Massive job losses and the knock-on effect to the local economy will be devastating for the town.

Honda's factory in Turkey is also threatened with its European manufacturing being centralised back to Japan.

It's outrageous that such decisions about the livelihoods of workers and their wider communities are taken by unelected bosses, based only on what makes them the most profit.

The Honda shop stewards have a proud record of defending their members. They have built up trade union organisation at the plant and been big supporters of the rank-and-file trade union organisation, the National Shop Stewards Network.

In 2011, Unite the Union convenor Paddy Brennan won reinstatement after being suspended by management.

This will be the fight of their lives, with higher stakes than previous struggles. Negotiations with management are being backed with action which will be vital if jobs are to be saved.

Next Steps

The next step of the campaign is the mass demonstration on 30 March in Swindon, called by Unite. This will mobilise not just Honda staff but workers from across the town, as well as supporters up and down the country.

Solidarity is one of the most powerful weapons our class possesses and it is important to link up the campaign with other workers, particularly those also facing closures or large-scale redundancies.

The plant should be taken in to public ownership to save jobs. The Socialist Party calls for nationalisation under democratic workers' control and management.

Decision making should be taken out of the hands of greedy bosses and the working class must be able to decide its own future.

Nationalisation is possible, if it is fought for. In 1971 even the Tory government was forced to nationalise Rolls Royce to save it.

Later that year the shop stewards' committee at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders in Glasgow organised a 'work in' occupation of the shipyards.

Again, the Tory government was forced to step in against their wishes. It may prove necessary to follow this heroic example in defence of Honda jobs.

This demonstration comes on the tenth anniversary of the heroic occupations by Visteon (ex-Ford) workers in Belfast, Enfield and Basildon when the company went into administration.

The action won tens of millions in redundancy payments, when the workers were facing statutory terms.

Jeremy Corbyn should promise that, under his leadership, an incoming Labour government would nationalise the plant, along with other threatened industries.

This would add to the pressure and, alongside the actions of workers, their union and the wider working class, could help prevent closure.

Unite convenor at Honda Swindon Paddy Brennan calls on people to join the demonstration on 30 March - "It doesn't matter what job you do or what union you're in. If our plant closes, everyone will be affected. We have to send a message to these multinational companies that you can't just pack up and leave and devastate our communities. We've got no choice but to fight. There are many others in manufacturing in our position. Hopefully, our fight will galvanize others to do the same."

National Shop Stewards Network meeting: Save Honda Jobs

7.30pm, Thursday 4 April

Great Western Hotel, 73 Station Road, Swindon SN1 1DH

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

In The Socialist 27 March 2019:

What we think

Corbyn and labour movement must mobilise to bring down Tories and force election

Socialist Party news and analysis

Haringey 'Corbyn council' finance chief resigns

Oil firms spend $1bn fighting climate laws: 'Green New Deal' needs socialist policies

Universal Credit forces women into 'survival sex': scrap it now!

NHS staff shortage now permanent: reverse health cuts!

International socialist news and analysis

Algeria uprising: 'We stay here until the whole system goes'

Socialist history

Lessons of the heroic 1984-85 Miners' strike

Visteon: when factory occupations stayed the hands of the bosses

Workplace news and analysis

Support the Honda workers: nationalise to save jobs

Valentine school strike against budget cuts and redundancies

Newark machine bearings factory workers return to work

Striking teachers march against Enfield schools academisation plans

Bradford College strike remains solid over pay and funding

West London civil service workers strike against office closure

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Climate strike reports

United working-class struggle needed to fight for trans and women's rights

Leeds residents' anger against private 18-story monster block in 'Little London'

Enthusiastic Southern region socialists plan for the struggles ahead

Worcester library cuts: staff not even consulted


Reader's comment: mental health under capitalism

The Socialist inbox


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

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


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

triangleFrom anger to action to save Honda plant


triangleNationalise to save jobs and protect passengers

triangleNationalise Ford to prevent closure

triangleNationalise the threatened Glasgow 'Caley' railway depot

triangleThem & Us


triangleRMT: Jared Wood - Fighting cuts, defending jobs, pay and conditions

triangleWales: Hundreds march to save the Orb works

triangleGeneral secretary election: Marion Lloyd - standing for action on members' pay, jobs, pensions and more


triangleFight the closures save every job!

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Honda - What can we learn from past trade union disputes?


triangleBirmingham HS2 protest against bosses' attacks on trade union organisation

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Postal workers

Massive vote for strike action: - "We're out to win!"



General secretary election: Marion Lloyd - standing for action on members' pay, jobs, pensions and more


Socialist Party

Be part of the future: join the Socialist Party


Waltham Forest

Mass union mobilisation needed to counter anti-choice group


Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance

Pressure needed to force secret police disclosure


Climate change

Trade unionists discuss climate change


National Education Union

NEU support staff dismiss Tory 'extra funding' hype



Hackney SEND transport workers achieve victory



RMT: Jared Wood - Fighting cuts, defending jobs, pay and conditions



Wales: Hundreds march to save the Orb works



Flooring workers strike, Derbyshire



Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers



BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory



York freshers success



'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

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



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

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019