Socialist Worker

Thursday morning at the Visteon occupations

Issue No. 2145

Enfield

The occupation of workers at the Visteon plant in north London entered its second day on Thursday morning. The occupation continues, despite an overnight attempt by police and bailiffs to evict the workers.

Kevin, the Unite union convenor, told Socialist Worker, 'A lot of us are in danger of losing our homes. We are determined to stay because we have nothing to lose. I've lived round here all my life and there's nowhere else to go for jobs. That's why we have to fight.'

Phil Wilson, another Visteon worker who has been at the company for 17 years, told Socialist Worker, 'There has been fantastic solidarity and support for us.

'Lots of people have brought food. For instance, someone who just saw about the occupation on the news brought down loads of pasta.'

Workers are thinking about what the factory could produce. Phil said, 'Give us the tools and we can make solar panels, wind turbines, all sorts of things. There are skilled people here.'

Occupying worker Mel Palmer said, 'This is a once in a lifetime experience. We are making our voices heard.'


Belfast

Workers at the Visteon car parts plant in West Belfast have spent a second night occupying the factory in a protest over redundancy terms and conditions.

Many of the workers who occupied the Dunmurry plant spent the night in the canteen, with family, friends and supporters bringing food in.

Jimmy Kelly, the Unite union regional secretary, said the protesters were prepared to stay for as long as it took to resolve the issue.

He said, 'Quite a lot of these employees have spent their working lives at this company. To be rewarded with their jobs being extinguished at a stroke of an administrator's pen is not the way to be treated.

'The loss of these jobs for the West Belfast area is a hammer blow to the community, which has been hard-pressed to see well-paid and skilled employment locate there. Unite vows to battle on to see that this is done.'

Send messages of support to steve.hart@unitetheunion.com

Text messages of support to Des (Basildon) 07814432215 John (Belfast) 07816 590 380 Kevin (Enfield) 07956 375 410.

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