Socialist Worker

Ford-Visteon workers back the fight for justice

Issue No. 2161

The occupation at Vestas is just the latest in the wave of unofficial and militant actions that workers have taken in response to attacks on their jobs, terms and conditions.

This includes successful occupations against closures at Waterford Crystal in Ireland and Prisme in Dundee, and recent wildcat strikes by construction workers against sackings.

Workers at Ford-Visteon, who successfully occupied to win redundancy packages from Ford earlier this year, are backing the Vestas workers.

Linda Bartle helped organise the occupation at the Visteon plant in Enfield, north London.

She told Socialist Worker, “A group of people from Visteon are to go to the Isle of Wight on Wednesday of this week to give the occupiers some support.

“I think they’ve done right by occupying. We want to give them the same feeling of solidarity that people gave us when we occupied.

“There are a lot of youngsters working at Vestas. What will it do to the Isle of Wight if the factory closes?

“It means they will have to leave to look for work elsewhere, but there are no jobs anywhere.”

Like many people, Linda is angry about the fact that the only wind turbine factory in Britain is closing down at a time when we desperately need more renewable energy.

“I don’t know what our government is thinking,” she said. “It talks about eco this and eco that but it is allowing this to happen without stepping in. The government should buy this company and keep it going.”

Linda hopes to spread the lessons of taking unofficial action to other workers.

“The government and bosses try to use the anti-union laws to intimidate people,” she said.

“But I’d say to workers, don’t worry about the intimidation of the law.

“We can’t keep letting big companies abuse us.

“Our struggle at Visteon gave us strength.

“We had nothing to lose—and after our experience I wouldn’t hesitate to do the same thing again.”

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