Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/164/7852

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 June 2000

"Cheaper to hire, cheaper to fire"

Angry Ford workers demand action

TO CHANTS of "no closure" and "the workers united will never be defeated", hundreds of Ford workers marched through fashionable Bayswater, west London to lobby Ford UK's headquarters.

Manny Thain and Dave Carr

12 coaches of workers from Dagenham were joined by two coachloads from the Jaguar plant on Merseyside. There were workers from Ford's radiator plant in Basildon and from Johnson Controls, a component company from Dagenham.

The message was straightforward; Ford should stick to its 1997 agreement with the unions and keep Dagenham assembly plant open.

Faced with manufacturing overcapacity in Europe, Ford wants to end current Fiesta production at Dagenham in 2002, axing 4,500 assembly jobs. The new Fiesta will be produced in Cologne, Germany.

A Ford worker's banner proclaimed: "Dagenham worker: cheaper to hire, cheaper to fire". Productivity levels at Dagenham match Ford Cologne's and labour costs are 6 an hour less, but UK employment laws make it far easier to shed workers here.

Speaking to union members before he met Ford UK bosses, chief TGWU union car negotiator, Tony Woodley, criticised Ford for reneging on its commitments.

"In 1997 there was an agreement that Dagenham would be assured a new model and a future but it's quicker to sack British workers and we're not having that", he said.

Woodley promised a fightback: "We'll resurrect the campaign to stop the body and assembly plant closing. If it closes the rest of the plant will go too and the future of other component companies will also be short term."

He finished by saying: "After today there will be a lull" [during which time 1,500 out of 4,500 jobs will go through voluntary redundancies!]. "If we can't reach agreement we'll ballot for industrial action".

The Socialist Party's Ford Workers' Bulletin was well received. Workers demanded that the unions stand by what they said. "If there's no agreement today, there should be a ballot for industrial action".

The Socialist Party agrees; waiting for a strike ballot sometime later this year will undermine union members' morale and their confidence that the plant can be saved.

Our demand that Dagenham workers link up with Ford workers in Europe also facing job cuts got a good reception.

Asked whether the Labour government should act to prevent closure several workers sneered contemptuously. As a worker's banner said: "Tony Blair, do you care?

"WHEN I started in 1979 there were 30,000 workers, today there's only 8,500, yet production has tripled in that period", a car worker told The Socialist.

"We've got to fight. I'm 43 years old. At my age, where could I get another job that pays the same wage?", a Ford worker, Mr Singh, told The Socialist.

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 30 June 2000:

Labour Pampers Its Fat Cats

Pride Not Profit

Not so 'gay friendly' New Labour

The TUC's 'Straight Up!' Campaign

Uniting against fascist threats

Mugabe's iron grip weakened

Angry Ford workers demand action

Signal workers vote for strike

RMT conference: delegates defy leaders

Left win in Tipperary

Keeping it out of the family

Cuba: Socialism and democracy


 

Home   |   The Socialist 30 June 2000   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Ford:

triangleRatcliffe rats on Bridgend workers

triangleAusterity anger feeds movement for Welsh independence

triangleNSSN meeting determined to fight for Ford workers

triangleFord Bridgend workers vote to fight to save threatened plant

triangleWales NSSN: Support the Ford Bridgend workers - No Closure

Dagenham:

triangleNHS marches in Yorkshire and London

triangleKing George A&E faces closure again

triangle'Made in Dagenham' Ford machinists pay strike 50 years on

triangleBroad Left candidate elected as Usdaw deputy general secretary

The Socialist:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleWhy we joined the Socialist Party

triangleThe Socialist: More than a newspaper

Socialist:

triangleGrimsby Socialist Party: Solidarity with refugees - Oppose racism

triangleFighting fund: One week to raise 3,444

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

23/9/20

The Socialist

The Socialist: More than a newspaper

23/9/20

Coventry

Coventry: Socialist Students is back

23/9/20

Liverpool

Liverpool Council must save care homes

23/9/20

Sussex

Sussex: Hands off Peacehaven schools

23/9/20

Fighting Fund

Fighting fund: One week to raise 3,444

23/9/20

Cardiff

Workplace news in brief

23/9/20

Schools

Dispatches from the front - chaotic schools are not safe!

16/9/20

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

16/9/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed

16/9/20

Young people

Covid generation says 'fund our future'

16/9/20

Coventry

Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges

16/9/20

National Shop Stewards Network

Lobbying for a lead from the TUC

16/9/20

NHS

Angry health workers demand 15% now!

16/9/20

Usdaw

Reinstate Richie Venton

16/9/20

Hull

Reinstate Tony Smith

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: 075 4018 9052

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


September 2020

August 2020

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