Socialist Worker

Basildon workers’ struggle is an inspiration to others

by Kate Connolly
Issue No. 2147

Basildon workers picket a Ford dealer (Pic: Tim Sneller)

Basildon workers picket a Ford dealer (Pic: Tim Sneller)

Visteon workers in Basildon are keeping up the fight for justice. Workers are permanently camped outside the plant.

They also held a protest outside the home of Visteon boss Stephen Gawne on Tuesday of last week

Over 150 people marched in support of the sacked workers last Saturday. They rallied in the town centre before marching on Visteon’s headquarters in the town.

Some demonstrators climbed up the fire exit ladder and planted Unite union flags on the building to loud cheers.

One worker said that Ford and Visteon have “stolen our terms and conditions, and stolen our pensions”. People said the fightback had changed their outlook.

Michael said they intended “to make other people know we can stand up and fight and not let these self-righteous bastards put us down”.

Robert said that before the sackings he had “been guilty of living in a cocoon. No-one’s safe. Everyone’s a target.

“These corporations will be morally corrupt and sack who they can in the name of profit.”

The struggle has inspired other people. Elizabeth Mantzari, who participated in the Essex university occupation against the attack on Gaza, joined the protest along with fellow students.

She said, “They’re fighting for our future. It’s really important for the working class that the workers win.”

Richard Allday, a Unite member, urged the workers to take decisions themselves, and not listen to the diktats of “port-swilling bigots” in the judiciary.

Speakers emphasised the need to turn up the heat on Ford and strengthen the rank and file.

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