Socialist Worker

Conference to join up the struggles for work

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2150

The best follow-up to the Visteon result is to organise many more fightbacks over jobs.

That’s the aim of the “Fight for the Right to Work” conference that will take place on Saturday 13 June in central London.

For too long thousands of jobs have been destroyed without resistance.

For too long the issue of unemployment – especially youth unemployment – has been ignored.

This conference is supported by the Visteon workers and the shop stewards at Waterford Crystal.

It is designed to learn from the experience of resistance, encourage more struggles, and bring together trade unionists, the unemployed, and school and college leavers.

Every day there is news of more redundancies and more factory closures. Rightly these cuts get lots of publicity.

But a more hidden aspect of the crisis is the young people who don’t get jobs.

There are already 820,000 unemployed under the age of 25, and 600,000 people will leave school this summer. Many will not find work.

Steve, a Visteon worker, said, “We want to let other workers know about our battle, and understand both the positives and the difficulties we faced.

“The major positive is that we got wonderful support from other workers – far more than we could ever have expected. The difficulty is the bosses’ double-dealing, the government’s lack of action, and the unwillingness of some trade union leaders to give real support.” 

The collections, meetings and delegation work around Visteon should be the basis for more lasting links between workers. 

This conference will not be a talking shop.

It is designed to increase the pressure on trade union leaders, develop the networks of resistance, and come up with campaigning ideas over the most crucial issue facing workers today.

The UCU lecturers’ union has called a demonstration at the Labour Party conference on 27 September in Brighton.

The conference will discuss organising to make this protest a focus for trade unionists and the unemployed everywhere.

And there should be coordinated campaigns for increased benefits and rights for the unemployed.

Saturday 13 June is the first weekend after the results of the European elections are announced.

As Labour lurches from crisis to crisis, it is imperative that there is a force arguing positively for a united fightback for jobs and the right to work.

Make sure you are there, and get your union branch, stewards’ committee, campaign organisation or student union to send delegates.

There is a £5 registration for employed, free to the unemployed.

To register email [email protected]

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Article information

Tue 5 May 2009, 18:31 BST
Issue No. 2150
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