Friday, May 15, 2009

Workers' Fightback: Update 2

Time for the second update on the struggle against the chaotic profit system, in the UK and around the world.

Sacked Visteon workers are still hanging in there, and still waiting for their money to come in. The deal is still uncertain though, and there have been rumours that Ford/Visteon might insist the Belfast occupation is ended before it is handed over. More news when it happens here.

Trade union convenor Rob Williams was sacked by Linamar bosses in Swansea last week, ultimately because of his record as thorn in their side. There was a rally in support of Rob yesterday, which was due to be addressed by Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite. Woodley had earlier met Gordon Brown. While this is all very cosy, only strong and united rank and file action could get Rob Williams his job back. Anyway, more details here.

On Monday evening, students at London Metropolitan University occupied part of the Commercial Road campus, in response to proposed cuts. Due to some seemingly dodgy dealings by the university bosses, the government has decided that they must slash its budget by £15 million per year. Under the plans, one in four members of staff are being made redundant, all but libraries are to be closed, the nursery will be closed, and many modules and courses are being closed. As campaigner Louise Nunn puts it: "In short, those who are not responsible for the financial problems are being punished for them - the staff and students."

But according to Nunn: "At 4pm [yesterday] management issued us with a court order to end the occupation of the building. Since we are trying as hard as possible to work with the management co-operatively and constructively (something that they have not been doing with us), we had to vacate the premises."

Still, "What we DO need right now and more than ever is for you guys to join our campaign and to invite more and more people to join this group so that we can spread our message, take down our appalling management and save our university!"

If things are kicking off in the UK, have a look at what's been happening in Bangladesh this past week. According to LibCom:
"On Sunday night (May 10) at the Rupashi Sweater factory in Narayanganj...bosses were attacked by a group of workers demanding their unpaid wages. When they turned up for work on Monday morning, workers found themselves locked out of the factory. The workers then marched to other factories - shouting slogans for higher wages - and brought out thousands of other workers. The violence quickly spread - 15,000 workers came out on to the streets and around 14 factories were attacked and vandalised. 15 vehicles were damaged as two main inter-city highways were blocked for 4 hours; the roads became a battleground between police and paramilitary forces (including the recently mutinous Bangladeshi Rifles) and enraged workers. Huge numbers of security forces used teargas and baton charges to finally disperse the workers by 1pm."

Disqus for Infantile Disorder