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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 June 2009

Reinstate Rob Williams: Action to defend union rights

Update 10/6/09 - Rob Williams has been unconditionally reinstated as Convener from tomorrow. More information and analysis will be posted to this website later.
Limamar workers support sacked covneor Rob Williams , photo Sarah Mayo

Limamar workers support sacked covneor Rob Williams , photo Sarah Mayo

Shopfloor workers at the Linamar car parts plant in Swansea have voted for an all-out strike in support of their sacked convenor Rob Williams, a long-standing Socialist Party member. 139 voted 'yes' and only 19 voted 'no', on an 88% turnout.

The Linamar workers are clearly saying that they, and not the management, will decide who they want as their convenor.


See also 'Rob Williams dispute at Linamar: management given notice of strike'


The vote, by secret ballot under the onerous anti-union laws, was taken in the face of an unprecedented recession in the car industry. Its success shows that the workers know what is at stake.

It is not just Rob Williams' job but their very future. On the day before a meeting with Unite trade union leaders, where Rob Williams and other stewards will be pushing for the strike to start as soon as possible, Rob spoke to The Socialist

Rob Williams addresses Limamar workers at the rally called to support him, photo Sarah Mayo

Rob Williams addresses Limamar workers at the rally called to support him, photo Sarah Mayo

"The ballot result shows incredible support in the plant. An 88% turnout and an 88% majority for strike action. It shows that the shop floor is absolutely determined to win this struggle.

They understand that the company are trying to break the trade union organisation in order to smash terms and conditions. That's why the shop floor is pushing for the action to start immediately.

There's a meeting on 3 June in London of myself and two Linamar senior stewards with Unite leader Tony Woodley and other national and regional Unite trade union officials. We are taking a message to that meeting from the shop floor that we want notice for the strike to be given immediately and for action to start. Any delay will only help the company get a contingency plan in place.

We think the company are shocked by the response of the shop floor. They did not expect that strike action would get that support. Now we have to build on that and make sure that the members can take the action.

The support we have had from outside is fantastic but we need to sustain the dispute. To win, we need to look wider, because other companies are looking at us.

Limamar workers support sacked covneor Rob Williams , photo Sarah Mayo

Limamar workers support sacked covneor Rob Williams , photo Sarah Mayo

For example, in the TRW plant in Neath, it seems that in the last week or so the company has informed the union that it would like to change the union recognition agreement.

This would mean getting rid of the full-time convenor and the joint negotiating committee, looking to establish a works council. But the problem with a works council is that there would not just be directly elected people from the trade union on the negotiating committee.

We have the fantastic vote for action. We have fantastic support from outside with donations and messages of support but now the union needs to call the action as soon as possible.

The union needs to fully support, financially and otherwise, the workers in the plant. Effectively 200 people are fighting for the trade union here and they should not fight alone."

Limamar workers support sacked covneor Rob Williams , photo Sarah Mayo

Limamar workers support sacked covneor Rob Williams , photo Sarah Mayo


LINAMAR SHOP STEWARDS COMMITTEE & SWANSEA TRADE UNION COUNCIL

MARCH AND RALLY

TO

SATURDAY, JUNE 13th.

ASSEMBLE 12.00
GUILDHALL GREEN
GUILDHALL
SWANSEA

(MARCH STARTS 12/30 - RALLY 1/00, CASTLE SQUARE)

Further info contact robbo@redwills.freeserve.co.uk

m07816134690

BRING YOUR BANNERS!!!!!!


How you can help

Rob Williams is the vice-chair of the National Shop Stewards Network. He will be speaking at the NSSN conference in London on 27 June. All trade unionists and others fighting to defend workers' rights should come to the conference.
Saturday 27 June, 11.30am - 4.30pm
South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, London WC1 (Near Euston and Kings Cross)

Keynote speakers from workers in struggle including Rob Williams (see front page), Lindsey Oil Refinery construction workers, car workers, London Underground, local government, and more.

Delegates fee 5. Visitors welcome.

See: www.shopstewards.net or email, info@shopstewards.net

Messages of protest to:

Linda.hasenfratz@linamar.com

Messages of support to:

robbo@redwills.freeserve.co.uk.
Donations to the campaign to: Linamar workers hardship fund, 31 Waun Wen Terrace, Swansea SA1 1DX,

Please make cheques payable to T&G 4/1 branch or pay direct to bank account no: 20055051, sort code: 08 60 01.

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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.
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In The Socialist 5 June 2009:

Action to defend union rights

Visteon pensioners battle on

Vauxhall jobs threat - unions must organise a fightback


Workplace news and analysis

Royal Mail sell-off - Time for action!

Fast news

Tube workers vote to strike

Bristol refuse workers strike

Battling against the blacklist

Glasgow care workers' success


Socialist Party election campaign

Prepare now for next election challenge

European elections: Putting forward a workers' alternative

A Question Time carve up

Challenge these disgraced MPs

A Parliament of celebrities and a speaker of integrity


Youth

Aston University socialists fight for student democracy

Sussex University: Save Linguistics campaign

Socialist youth conference and protest

Youth Fight for Jobs: Fortnight of action 27 June to 10 July


Socialist Party feature

NATO anniversary: 60 years of aggression and terror


Socialist Party review

The Frock-Coated Communist: the revolutionary life of Friedrich Engels


Marxist analysis: history

Tiananmen Square 1989: Counter-revolution crushes China's democracy movement


 

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Related links:

Rob Williams:

triangleWorkers fighting to defend safety and livelihoods - NSSN national meeting a huge success

triangleWorkers' safety before bosses' profits

triangleSocialist Party Facebook Live: The fight for PPE & workers' rights

triangleBuild union resistance to Tory attacks

triangleDefend the right to strike! RMT and NSSN lobby parliament

London:

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Workers' safety before bosses' profits

triangleGoing viral - Socialist comments and letters

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Why are coronavirus deaths higher in working-class areas?

triangleHackney, Waltham Forest & East London Socialist Party branches: Johnson's 'back to school' plan is not safe

Linamar:

triangleFighting the anti-strike legislation

triangleVisteon pensioners demand the pensions they have earned

triangleSwansea Linamar

Strike:

triangle1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"

triangleThe Tyneside apprentices' strike during WW2

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