Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/575/7163

From The Socialist newspaper, 15 April 2009

Visteon workers angry and determined

Workers picket Visteon at Basildon, photo Greg Maughan

Workers picket Visteon at Basildon, photo Greg Maughan

THE STRUGGLE of workers at Visteon plants has inspired many other workers whose jobs are threatened. The occupations and mass pickets at the Belfast, Basildon and Enfield plants have forced the management into talks, the results of which are due soon after The Socialist goes to press. Below we carry reports from Basildon and Enfield.

Basildon

TWO HUNDRED Visteon workers, family members, and trade unionists bringing solidarity from other workplaces marched through the streets of Basildon on 11 April. Angry chants of "Steve Gawne hear us say, Visteon workers here to stay" and "Sack the bosses, not the workers" rang through the shopping centre. Local people applauded and joined the march.

Paula Mitchell

The Basildon Visteon workers were particularly pleased to have the presence of Rob Williams and others from the ex-Visteon (now Linamar) plant in Swansea.

Steve Gawne is managing director of Visteon UK. He appears to have set up a new company in preparation for Visteon's closure, so he can keep trading and making profits while he casts out the workforce without a penny.

The Basildon workers visited his luxury house, with pool and orchard, on 13 April, taking a letter demanding the redundancy and pensions they are owed. Several commented: "That's my pension in that house." The bosses like the money they make out of them but don't like facing the workers themselves. Gawne made his exit before the workers arrived, so we confronted a representative of the administrators.

Struggle and solidarity

Two weeks of round-the-clock pickets have made the workers even more determined to fight on. Nearly every day over the last week they have been out with leaflets and buckets at the railway station, the shopping centre and supermarkets.

Socialist Party members have helped with all this activity. Visteon workers went with Socialist Party members early one morning to leaflet Fords Dagenham too, calling for solidarity. On Easter Monday, Visteon workers and supporters picketed Ford showrooms in Dagenham, Romford, Billericay, Grays and Basildon.

Saturday's march ended at the Visteon Customer and Technology Centre (VTC), a symbol of how the bosses shift profits around to make it look like Visteon UK has made a loss. The VTC still operates as an allegedly independent company, on money made out of Visteon workers.

Many of these workers had what they thought of as secure, reasonably well-paid jobs for years. Now their lives have been turned upside down and their experience of struggle and solidarity over the last two weeks has transformed the way many of them think.

"I used to drive past picket lines and protests and think it had nothing to do with me. But I'll never do that again" is a comment repeated again and again.

Many have also changed their mind about the Labour Party and are interested in the RMT's euro-elections initiative. Discussion on the pickets into the night includes discussing the different organisations that support them, and discussing the nature of capitalism and questions about socialism.


Enfield

ON 9 April Visteon workers marched out of their occupation of the Enfield plant. Since then they have had 24-hour pickets on each gate of the factory to prevent any machinery, tools or car parts leaving the plant.

The occupation ended as High Court action threatened imprisonment of the factory's Unite convenor and deputy-convenor.

Socialist Party members and trade unionists have visited regularly in support of the pickets. There are also rumours that management want to reopen the plant with a new workforce.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 15 April 2009:

MPs' snouts in the expenses trough


Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Sri Lanka: Stop the war - fight for democratic rights

Stop the war in Sri Lanka: Protest at India House


Socialist Party election campaign

European elections: Why No2EU?


Socialist Party workplace news

Visteon workers angry and determined

National Union of Teachers conference: Battle on workload begins

London Underground: Set a new strike date

Fury at John Lewis' trickery

Preparing to fight probation meltdown


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs: What next to build the campaign?


Marxist analysis: history

The Spanish Civil War: Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory


Socialist Party editorial

Deceptive denigration of Lindsey strike


Socialist Party campaigns

G20 Summit death: Bring the cops to account

Council manoeuvres in Lewisham hit school children

Parents occupy schools in Glasgow to stop closures

Fast news


International socialist news and analysis

Thailand: Battles erupt on the streets of Bangkok

Moldova: Thousands storm parliament buildings as economic crisis worsens


Sport

Rugby league: In League with big business?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 15 April 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Visteon:

triangleVisteon: when factory occupations stayed the hands of the bosses

triangleFord workers vote for action

trianglePotential new steel bosses refuse to take on pensions

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleFinal meeting of Swansea Visteon pensioners

Enfield:

trianglesocialism2020

triangleBlack Lives Matter protests: week three

triangleUnite regional committee votes to support anti-cuts Enfield councillor

triangleMake a stand: set legal no-cuts council budgets

Basildon:

triangleBasildon Socialist Party: Socialist ideas can beat the Tories

triangleUnite takes legal action against Argos

triangleEssex FBU fight lockout

Socialist:

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: The collapse of stalinism

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: The socialist case for nationalisation

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

8/7/20

Southampton

UCU: election victory for combative rank and file

8/7/20

NSSN

Fantastic virtual NSSN conference: "Fight for our lives and livelihoods''

8/7/20

Socialist Party

The best place to start - join the Socialist Party

8/7/20

Trans rights

Trans rights protests oppose Tory backsliding

8/7/20

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter - the fight is not over

8/7/20

Equal pay

Homerton hospital workers deserve equal pay and conditions

8/7/20

Jobcentre

Jobcentre reopening: only union struggle will put safety first

8/7/20

Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets council workers strike against wholesale attack on terms and conditions

8/7/20

Nottingham

Nottingham unions fight council job cuts

7/7/20

Bangladesh

Bangladesh: Stop closure and privatisation of Jute Mills

1/7/20

Fighting Fund

Fighting Fund: Target smashed by half time

1/7/20

PCS

Change in leadership needed to secure union's future

1/7/20

Black Lives Matter

BLM has not stopped - protesters flock to Socialists

1/7/20

Ken Douglas

Red flags line road for Ken

1/7/20

Leeds

Leeds City Council in danger of bankruptcy

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: 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

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999