Socialist Worker

Car workers

Issue No. 1921

THE CAMPAIGN to save 1,150 jobs at Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant in Coventry has begun. The unions are still discussing the date for a demonstration.

They were met Tony Blair during Labour Party conference and have said nothing new.

If the unions do not move quickly there is a danger of losing the strength of feeling amongst workers and people in the area against the company.

A demonstration would tap the angry mood and help create the impetus needed to beat Ford.

Clive Dixon, the branch chair of the white collar section of the TGWU union in Browns Lane, says, “A demonstration against the closure needs to be organised quickly. People across Coventry should demand a region-wide demonstration to save the plant.

“We confirmed on Friday of last week the need to ballot for industrial action at the right time.”

THOUSANDS OF Land Rover workers in Solihull were forced to vote last week on changes to their working practices with the threat of factory closure hanging over them.

Ford, which owns Land Rover, said if the workers did not vote for the “road map”, which includes more flexible working, it would shut the plant.

The main unions, TGWU and Amicus, recommended acceptance. The ballot result was 3,260 votes for and 2,100 votes against the deal. The substantial minority who voted against shows the deep anger with Ford that many workers feel.

The multinational wants to use fear of job cuts and closure across its various companies to drive through attacks on the workforce. As one Land Rover worker told Socialist Worker, “I think guys have ended up voting with their mortgages.”

Shamefully the union leaders refused to stand up to Ford’s blackmail and lead a fight.

by Helen Shooter

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Article information

Sat 2 Oct 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1921
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