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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 May 2009

Visteon workers' victory march

On 18 May at lunchtime, sacked Visteon workers turned up at their factories in big numbers to mark the end of occupations and pickets. In the next few days big financial payments will go into their bank accounts, won by weeks of militant mass action.

Paula Mitchell

In a coordinated action, to march off the sites together, heads held high, all three sites held rallies at the same time.

At Basildon and Enfield, Socialist Party speakers joined with speakers from the workers and other supporters. From the Basildon plant we marched to the Visteon Corporation's Customer and Technology centre, still open and trading despite the fact that Visteon UK went into administration over a month ago. A chillingly silent protest took place outside this building, and then the workers laid their banners and flags in the doorway.

We all then headed to the pub for champagne and flowers, to be followed with a big party next week.

The Visteon workers and their partners, many of whom stood by the workers on the pickets for weeks, were in celebratory mood because of their tremendous achievement.

But the end of this battle is tinged with sadness as well. Many of these men and women have worked for Ford and then Visteon for 20 or 30 years. They now face a time of hardship and uncertainty, and will miss the collective organisation and camaraderie of the workplace.

The last few weeks have been life-changing. People have taken action they never thought they would take. The real brutal nature of this capitalist system has been laid bare.

They have discussed the need to fight to transform the trade unions, and many of them intend to stay in Unite and get involved in the new United Left. They have talked about how the Labour Party has changed, and now many of them believe the union should stop funding it.

Many will be supporting No2EU - Yes to Democracy in the euro-elections. Several of them are also discussing socialist ideas.

The lessons of the Visteon struggle are discussed in more detail in the forthcoming issue of Socialism Today.

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In The Socialist 20 May 2009:

We need workers' MPs on a worker's wage


Socialist Party editorial

Swindling MPs are detached from reality


Socialist Party workplace news

Reinstate Rob Williams!

Thousands march for jobs in Birmingham

Visteon workers' victory march


No2EU

Why socialists oppose the EU

No2EU - yes to democracy


International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka: The guns fall silent but the tragedy continues

End Gaza blockade


Socialist Party feature

Tiananmen 1989: Seven weeks that shook the world


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs fortnight of action

Enthusiastic reception for Youth Fight for jobs


Education

Don't close our schools!

Charlotte Turner

Kings College, London

Lewisham Bridge rooftop protest


Socialist Party news and analysis

BT say they're sorry

Welsh-speaking worker bullied by boss

PCS conference gathers

Construction workers walk out

Union organisation necessary to defend working conditions

Workplace news

Fast news


 

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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

Basildon:

triangleBasildon Socialist Party: Socialist ideas can beat the Tories

triangleUnite takes legal action against Argos

triangleEssex FBU fight lockout

triangleClacton Tory MP defects to Ukip

Enfield:

triangleUnite regional committee votes to support anti-cuts Enfield councillor

triangleMake a stand: set legal no-cuts council budgets

triangleUnite housing branch supports stand of Enfield councillor

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