Socialist Worker

Support grows for crucial dispute

Issue No. 2149

Solidarity action for Visteon workers is spreading across Britain. It is piling pressure on Ford.

Visteon workers and their supporters held protests at several Ford showrooms across the country last Saturday.

“We were well received by passers-by,” said Steve Squibbs at the protest in Southampton. “The local radio station ran a piece about the protest on their hourly news bulletin all day.”

In Enfield, north London, Ford was forced to send workers home early as a protest at its showroom there shut it down. Similar protests took place in Cambridge, Watford, Manchester, Belfast and Leeds.

One passer-by told protesters in Leeds, “It’s a disgrace how these workers have been treated. Similar things have happened in Leeds over the years. It’s about time people started standing up for themselves.”

The Visteon dispute was also raised at a Tolpuddle festival in north London, where singer Billy Bragg announced his support for the workers from the stage. Over £300 was collected for the fight.

Delegations of workers continue to visit the plants to drop off collections and supplies, and to show their support.

“We’ve had people bringing wood for the fires on the picket line,” Scott, a Visteon worker from Basildon, told Socialist Worker. “Pizza Hut send us pizzas. People honk their car horns in support.

“Argos workers and post workers have been to show their support. Everyone has their own disputes and they are really behind us.

“We need our supporters to let everyone know how we’ve been treated and to encourage people to visit the picket lines.”

Meanwhile, Visteon workers are travelling up and down the country to win support for their struggle.

Ron Clark from the Enfield site spoke at numerous union and campaign meetings across Lancashire last week, raising awareness and money.

This included over £100 collected at a Bolton Unison stewards meeting, £100 from Manchester’s Unite IT branch, £100 from Manchester trades council, plus individual donations and promises of further donations from union branches.

Ron also spoke at a meeting of the Fire Brigades Union in Euston, central London, on Tuesday that agreed to donate £1,000.

Send donations to Visteon Hardship Fund, Unite the union, “Woodberry”, 218 Green Lanes, London N4 2HB. Cheques payable to “Unite the union” and marked “Visteon Hardship Fund” on the reverse


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