The offer that Visteon workers have wrenched from Ford marks a turning point for class struggle in Britain. It shows that workers can take on multinational corporations – even in the midst of a recession – and win.
Frank Jepson, the Unite union convenor at the Basildon site, told Socialist Worker, “Ford is waving the white flag and has been defeated.
“Our threat to shut down the Ford plant in Bridgend was real and they knew it.
“Officially Visteon are paying us the money but really it’s coming from Ford and everyone knows it.”
But workers and convenors are unsure how long it will take for the company to pay up.
“We haven’t seen the deal in writing yet,” added Frank. “It’s a worry that if Visteon goes bankrupt, there may be a problem getting the money.
“If they don’t move soon to give us the money we’ll be upping the action.”
Some workers have mixed emotions about the deal. Those who were not previously employed by Ford have been offered a worse deal. “It’s Visteon’s attempt to divide and conquer,” says Greg.
Many workers also want to fight for their pension rights. Others want their jobs.
Workers will continue their protests until the deal is delivered. KPMG, Visteon’s administrator, is still trying to evict the Belfast workers.
They were due to attend a court hearing as Socialist Worker went to press.
But the workers have scored a major victory against a powerful firm that will resonate across the whole working class.