Workers at the Linamar car parts factory in Swansea have voted at a mass meeting to reluctantly accept the company’s closure terms.
It is a tragedy that such a well-organised plant, with such a proud record of struggle, has gone down without a real fight.
Workers everywhere are looking for examples of resistance.
Linamar provided one of those in 2008 when workers robustly defended plant convenor Rob Williams and stopped his sacking.
It seems that the steady trickle of job cuts and the size of the redundancy cheques made workers reluctant to consider a strike or occupation this time.
The offer of money is a sign the bosses were worried. But even a large cheque soon goes if you can’t get another job.
It could have been different if national union leaders had made Linamar a focus.
Unite should have sent its top people to Linamar as soon as the closure was threatened, and put in place confidence-building actions.
There could have been a demonstration, delegations to and from other workplaces, and appeals to workers at Ford plants not to handle Linamar parts and to take solidarity action – especially at Bridgend.
That would have given more time to argue the case for a fightback, and reduced the fear that a fight would see money lost with no positive result.
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