Workers at the Linamar (former Visteon) plant in Swansea, south Wales, were set to begin an all-out strike from 6am on Thursday of this week in defence of their sacked Unite union convenor Rob Williams.
“We are expecting the strike to be solid and the company is vulnerable,” Rob told Socialist Worker.
“I’ve had tremendous support from my colleagues and trade unionists from other workplaces so far. Now it’s the moment of truth.”
Linamar management originally sacked Rob at the end of April, sparking a mass walkout in solidarity.
Rob was temporarily reinstated only to be sacked again a week later.
Rob’s sacking has taken place in the context of wider management attacks on workers at the plant.
Bosses want to break their agreement to set up a final salary pension scheme for workers.
Some 140 workers have already been made redundant at the site while pay negotiations are ongoing.
Rob is a well-known militant and socialist, and workers fear that management have sacked him in order to ease the path for further attacks.
Union members voted by 88 percent for action to defend Rob – a reflection of the huge level of anger and willingness to fight that exists.
“Most of the workers at the plant haven’t taken much
official action before so this is a big step,” Rob said. “My sacking is an attack on the union and it has to respond.
“We’re asking the national union for full financial support and to deepen and extend the action.
“We’ll be holding a mass meeting on Monday of next week where we can discuss the dispute with other Unite stewards in the car industry and talk about building support.”
Rob was part of building solidarity and support for the Visteon workers during their inspirational struggle for jobs and justice.
It is time that other workers returned this level of solidarity to him.
The attack on Rob is an attack on the right of trade unionists to organise. If his bosses get away with this it will encourage others to follow.
Unite must put sufficient resources into this fight and other trade unionists should urgently build support in their workplaces.
Demonstrate in support of Rob Williams, Saturday 13 June, assemble 12 noon at the Guildhall, Swansea to march to Castle Square.
Rush messages of support to [email protected] or phone 07816 134 690.
Collect donations and make cheques payable to TGWU branch 4/1, send to c/o 31 Waun Wen Terrace, Swansea, SA1 1DX or pay into Unity Trust Bank, sort code 086001 account number 20055051.
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