Friday, May 01, 2009

Workers' Fightback: Update 1

This is the first update for the Workers’ Fightback group. I intend to make them once a week or thereabouts, bringing you the latest from the class struggle frontline, in the UK and elsewhere.

As many of you will know, Visteon workers in Enfield, Basildon and Belfast have voted to accept an improved redundancy offer, after they were sacked a month ago. However, they are maintaining their English pickets and Northern Irish occupation until the money is in the bank. Much about the deal is still shrouded in mystery, and of course things will still be difficult for the workers, who now face signing on, after there has been no deal on lost pensions. Read a critical analysis from a communist perspective here. And of course join the support group here.

Last week, Socialist Party member and trade union convenor Rob Williams was sacked by Linamar in Swansea, after what the company described as an “irretrievable breakdown of trust”. Linamar is strongly linked to Ford, and indeed the Swansea plant used to be owned by Visteon, which of course used to be part of Ford, so this is very much connected to the occupation/pickets. Williams was temporarily reinstated after mass opposition from workers, but he had his sacking confirmed on Wednesday. The Socialist Party report that:
“Massive intimidation of the workforce took place - including foremen going around the shop floor threatening workers with the sack if they dared walk out in support of Rob. The bosses even went to the ludicrous lengths of removing the door from Rob’s trade union office.”
Messages of protest can be sent to, while Rob would surely be glad to hear from you at And the group is here.

The car industry is definitely where it’s at currently, with the ‘Big Three’ bargaining with Obama and the United Auto Workers union. Obama is trying to force through massive cuts to jobs, pay and conditions, and he’s getting the support of UAW tops, because they stand to directly profit from the increased rates of exploitation. A rank-and-file movement is clearly needed, and this group could be part of it.

New school occupation in Greenwich, London

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