Socialist Worker

Occupy to save jobs

If they come to close your factory, follow our example and fight back, says Visteon worker

Issue No. 2146

Visteon workers in Enfield on the roof of their occupied factory  (Pic: Charlie Kimber)

Visteon workers in Enfield on the roof of their occupied factory (Pic: Charlie Kimber)

Workers at the Visteon car components manufacturing plants in Belfast, Enfield and Basildon are fighting for justice after they were sacked last week. The workers in Belfast and Enfield occupied their sites.

Fay Bernard from Visteon in Enfield, spoke to Socialist Worker

‘We occupied this plant in protest when our bosses sacked the whole workforce, over 200 of us, with no notice.

We’ve never done anything like this before. At first we just went home. But when we saw Belfast workers occupying on the news we thought we should fight too.

The occupation has been fantastic – I feel like it’s given me a sort of power.

The way our bosses treated us is shocking and people are so angry.

They called us to a meeting that lasted just ten minutes. They told us we had no jobs any more and that we had to leave the building.

We had no idea this was going to happen.

I thought that the meeting would be about some voluntary redundancies or something like that.

I felt sick at first. You see people losing their jobs all the time and feel sorry for them. At the same time you feel glad you’ve got a job. But now it’s happening to me.

I’ve worked here for over 18 years, and there are people who’ve been here for 25, 35 or even 40 years. To tell them after all those years that they have to leave the premises is just not on – we want an apology.

We are Ford workers. Ford sold the work in 2000 and we are still on Ford contracts. I think other Ford workers should come out and stand with us, because this could happen to them.

Ford must honour our contract – and if they won’t then the government should step in.

We really appreciate all the support we’ve had and I want to say thank you to everyone who has come down to show us solidarity.

If our bosses get away with this here, other bosses will think that they can do the same. People in many places are losing their jobs and having their pay and hours cut.

We are showing that people can do something about it. If we can do it, then so can you.’

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