Socialist Worker

Workers occupy Simclar factory to save their jobs

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2036

Workers are occupying a Simclar electronic components factory in Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, Scotland, in protest at the company's plans to close the factory and asset strip the plant.

The workers, members of the Community trade union, are furious at the way they have been treated by the Simclar Group.

The occupation follows the announcement on Monday by Simclar that the Irvine and Kilwinning factories would be closing immediately with the loss of 420 jobs.

Workers arrived last Monday to find the gates locked and to be told that they had no jobs.

Willie Paterson, Scottish regional secretary of Community, is inside the Kilwinning factory with the workers.

He said, 'Over 200 Simclar employees attended a union branch meeting last night at which the strength of feeling of about how disgracefully Simclar have treated them was palpable.

'It was agreed that peaceful protests would be held outside the Irvine and Kilwinning factories this morning. During the process of the Kilwinning protest the factory gate was opened and the workforce took an instant decision to occupy the factory.

'Sam Russell, the chair of the Simclar Group, appears to have no shame about how he is treating the loyal, highly skilled workforce in Ayrshire, many of whom have up to 18 years service with the company.

'The workers are being denied redundancy pay and the consultation period that that they are contractually and legally entitled to.'

Solidarity MSP Rosemary Byrne joined the occupying workers and spoke to Socialist Worker from inside the factory.

'The Simclar workers are taking control of the situation rather than wait for a useless government task force,' she said.

'These workers could run the factory without the bosses and they could do a better job. I call on all trade unionists and working class people to get behind the Simclar workers with any help they can give.'

Nan Wilson, one of the workers occupying the plant, said, 'It is a shame that New Labour politicians are posing at the gates for the cameras when they know it is their system of global capitalism that has led to us being sacked in the first place. They are hypocrites.'

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Article information

Sat 3 Feb 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2036
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