Defending jobs

Prisme occupation workers announce victory

Statement from the Prisme workers, 24 April: After 51 days in occupation the Dundee Prisme workers have decided to end their occupation. The reason we have taken this decision is that it looks like we have secured funding to take our co-op venture forward and save the jobs that we thought had gone.

After 51 days in occupation the Dundee Prisme workers have decided to end their occupation, because they reckon they have saved their jobs.

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Visteon: fighting for a better deal

Visteon

Author: 

Vicki Morris

“We were made redundant without any notice, we weren’t offered any redundancy pay, we were going to lose our pensions, and then they were going to make us into criminals for objecting to it!”

“The real people are the people that pay their taxes and try their best to keep within the law. But the law has failed us, and this is the reason why we have to take the action we have taken. The law does not recognise us. You can see the amount of support going on there. People are fed up of the status quo and we need change and we need it now.

Sacked Visteon workers are into the third week of their campaign against Ford and Visteon motor companies.

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Visteon Enfield: occupation ends but workers are fighting on

Visteon

Author: 

Vicki Morris

Visteon Enfield workers voted to leave their week-long occupation today, Thursday 9 April, on advice from their union (Unite had done a deal earlier in the week that kept the convenor Kevin Nolan and deputy convenor Piers Hood out of prison, in return for agreeing that the occupation would end at noon on Thursday).

Enfield occupation ends (9 April), but picketing continues there. Belfast factory still occupied.

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Visteon Enfield: occupation ends but workers are fighting on

Author: 

Vicki Morris

Visteon Enfield workers voted to leave their week-long occupation today, Thursday 9 April, on advice from their union (Unite had done a deal earlier in the week that kept the convenor Kevin Nolan and deputy convenor Piers Hood out of prison, in return for agreeing that the occupation would end at noon on Thursday). Some in the occupation wanted to stay, but abided by the majority decision. All the workers were applauded as they left the factory by about 300 supporters who had gathered for a rally.

[img_assist|nid=12287|title=Visteon|desc=Visteon Enfield|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=95] Visteon Enfield workers voted to leave their week-long occupation today, Thursday 9 April, on advice from their union.

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Factory Occupations: Ford Visteon — A Fight for the Whole Movement

Enfield

Author: 

Vicki Morris

“We done what we had to do, we have a message for big multinational corporations: you can’t get away with it no more. You should treat ordinary people with respect. And it’s not us that should be treated as criminals but people like Mandelson.”




Report as of 7 April on the occupations of car-parts factories shut down by Ford spin-off Visteon.

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Solidarity! This week. With the Tamils, with Visteon.

Author: 

Robin Sivapalan

Tuesday, 7 April, morning: Hi campers: It's all going on from where i'm standing, my head can barely take it, people on such a scale, from all different struggles, are taking action these days.

I hope the news is spreading today, 7 April, that hundreds of Tamils have been occupying Westminster Bridge since last night, blocking traffic and holding back the police, putting out the call that people must continue to gather outside parliament until the genocide in Sri Lanka stops.

A call-out to climate camp activists for solidarity with Tamil protests and Visteon occupation.

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Around the world: 

Sacked workers occupy Belfast and Enfield car parts factories

Author: 

Vicki Morris

Some 200 workers occupied the Visteon car components factory in west Belfast on 31 March, and workers in Enfield occupied on 1 April.

Vicki Morris reports on the Visteon occupation in Enfield, north London and on why Thursday 9 April will be a crunch day for the dispute

“We done what we had to do, we have a message for big multinational corporations: you can’t get away with it no more. You should treat ordinary people with respect. And it’s not us that should be treated as criminals but people like Mandelson.”

Vicki Morris reports on the Visteon occupation in Enfield, north London and on why Thursday 9 April will be a crunch day for the dispute

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Prisme factory occupation: make the bosses think twice!

At the time of going to press, the Prisme Packaging factory occupation in Dundee, which began when its owners announced closure of the company, is about to enter its fourth week. Dale Street spoke to David Taylor, one of the Prisme workers involved in the occupation.

What progress has been made with the idea of setting up a workers’ co-operative?

We have nearly finished this — we have just to meet with the accountant, and the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Clydesdale Bank.

The Prisme Packaging factory occupation in Dundee, which began when its owners announced closure of the company, is about to enter its fourth week.

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Local solidarity way to save jobs

Author: 

Patrick Rolfe

Cambridge University Press recently announced plans to axe 160 jobs at two sites in Cambridge.

Thirty redundancies at the company’s education department have already been confirmed, and management wanted a further 130 redundancies at the press itself. However, a concerted effort by the press workers, the local trades council, and local people has forced management to reduce the number of redundancies to 53.

Cambridge University Press recently announced plans to axe 160 jobs at two sites in Cambridge.

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Tubeworker 23/3/09: VOTE YES!

The new issue of Tubeworker urges all RMT members on London Underground and TfL to vote Yes in the current industrial action ballot, and discusses some of the issues that workers are talking about.

It also reports on the sacking of a cleaner rep and ISS's reneging on the last instalment of the London Living Wage for cleaners, as well as the usual range of workplace reports.

Click on the file name to view, download and print it. Click here to read Tubeworker's blog.

The new issue of Tubeworker urges all RMT members on London Underground and TfL to vote Yes in the current industrial action ballot, and discusses some of the issues that workers are talking about.

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Further Action at Staythorpe

Engineering construction: Workers demonstrated outside the Staythorpe power station construction site, in Nottinghamshire, again on Wednesday 11 March. But Unite union officials seem to be quietly encouraging a winding-down of the action.

Most of the workers currently on the site are Spanish workers, reportedly non-union and walled off from access by trade unionists, employed by two Spanish sub-contractors. The demonstrations are for labour for future phases of the contract to be hired locally under the national union agreement for engineering construction.

Engineering construction: Workers demonstrated outside the Staythorpe power station construction site, in Nottinghamshire, again on Wednesday 11 March. But Unite union officials seem to be quietly encouraging a winding-down of the action.

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Dispute/Discussion: Nationalist strike - an inconvenient truth

Author: 

Mark Sandell

Solidarity’s approach to the recent construction strikes was very poor. While they were a national news issue and a major focus for everyone interested in how the British working class respond to the crisis, we wobbled and ended up downplaying the massive threat of nationalism to our class.

We did not heed Trotsky’s advice in the Transitional Programme:

“To face reality squarely; not to seek the line of least resistance; to call things by their right names; to speak the truth to the masses, no matter how bitter it may be.”

A polemic taking issue with Solidarity's coverage of the engineering construction strikes.

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Dundee packaging workers occupy over redundancies

Author: 

Colin Foster

Workers at Prisme Packaging in Dundee have occupied their factory, demanding at the very minimum that they get their redundancy pay.

Christina Faulkner, one of the workers, spoke to Solidarity about the occupation.

At 10am on Wednesday 4 March someone the workers had never met before turned up at the factory and told the twelve workers that the company was shutting down immediately bexcause it had lost a contract. They should take their personal belongings and go. They would get no redundancy pay, because there was "no money" to pay it.

Packaging workers in Dundee have occupied their factory after being sacked with no redundancy pay. Please send messages of solidarity.

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No applause for Derek Simpson at Staythorpe

Author: 

Tony Byrne

After today’s (Tuesday 24 February) picket the workers marched through Newark, the local town for what turned out to be the shortest rally I’ve ever witnessed.

The three platform speeches in the market square couldn’t have been altogether more than 15 minutes long and no questions or comments were taken from the rank and file.

John Mann, Labour MP spoke about his experience of the Cottam power station dispute (it is in his constituency of Bassetlaw) and his efforts in parliament through an Early Day Motion to get rid of UK opt outs from the Posted Workers Directive.

Amicus-Unite general Derek Simpson got no applause when he spoke to workers who had been demonstrating at the Staythorpe power station construction site.

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Stop These Job Cuts

National Express East Anglia – 242 jobs to go, 61 vacancies frozen, including 3 drivers, 11 cleaners, 44 caterers, 53 retail staff, 19 Stansted Express train crew, 7 workshop engineering staff , 73

National Express East Anglia – 242 jobs to go, 61 vacancies frozen, including 3 drivers, 11 cleaners, 44 caterers, 53 retail staff, 19 Stansted Express train crew, 7 workshop engineering staff , 73 call centre staff, 4 revenue-protection staff, 29 support staff

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EWS/DB Schenker

In December, EWS announced plans to cut 15% of its workforce, across all grades. EWS - recently taken over by German state-owned railway company DeutscheBahn and renamed DB Schenker - is to shed 530 jobs.

It is placing many workers on ‘zero-hours’ contracts, an appalling set-up under which you are available for work from 7am to 7pm (or 7pm to 7am), but get paid just £5 for having your phone on and wages only if you are actually called in to work.

In December, EWS announced plans to cut 15% of its workforce, across all grades. EWS - recently taken over by German state-owned railway company DeutscheBahn and renamed DB Schenker - is to shed 530 jobs.

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Against Viking, Laval, Ruffert, Luxemburg: cross-Europe workers' unity!

Staythorpe

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Today workers can move freely and easily across most of the European Union. The freedom is a boon, and makes it easier to build the working-class unity across borders which was an urgent necessity even from a trade-union point of view as long ago as the beginning of the First International, in the 1860s.

In four judgements in 2007-8 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) made it easier for bosses to undermine union agreements in one country by "posting" entire temporary workforces from other countries

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Around the world: 

Isle of Grain: talking strikes

Author: 

Rebecca Galbraith

Two other comrades and I went to Hoo on the Isle of Grain on Saturday 7 February to talk to local workers and residents. We have visited the area before as socialist activists at the Climate Camp.

We had some long conversations with a group of men who were all locals, but none of whom worked on the plant, although they had family members working at Kingsnorth. They knew very little about the strikes but wanted to talk about them, climate change, banks, protesters, capitalism in general.

Two other comrades and I went to Hoo on the Isle of Grain on Saturday 7 February.

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Staythorpe, 11 February

Staythorpe

Author: 

Liam Conway




Liam Conway was on the construction workers’ demonstration at the Staythorpe power station site in Nottinghamshire on Wednesday 11 February.

Construction workers demonstrated at the Staythorpe power station site in Nottinghamshire on Wednesday 11 February.

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Construction workers demonstrate again at Staythorpe

Union placards

Author: 

Tony Byrne

About 300 workers on the picket at the Staythorpe power-station construction site in Nottinghamshire on Wednesday 18 February. About half had come on buses organised by workers at other construction sites like Lindsey and Dimlington.

This was down on the numbers on 11 February, but I was told that this protest was better because the previous ones had been penned in behind crowd control barriers whereas this one took place on the road in front of the power station although the police kept us away from the site entrance and there was no attempt made to stop the traffic going in.

Four workers on the Staythorpe site face de-facto sacking for unofficial strike action in the jobs dispute. A further demonstration at the site is planned for 24 February.

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Daily Star tries to hijack construction protests

Daily Star

Author: 

Workers’ Liberty activists
Report from the Isle of Grain power station construction project, in Kent

Workers’ Liberty activists report from the Isle of Grain power station construction project, in Kent.

Sixty to eighty construction workers gathered here on Wednesday 11 February for a demonstration organised by the unions, GMB and Unite. The political issues were posed most sharply when a team arrived from the Daily Star to try to give out printed “British Jobs For British Workers” posters and get a photo-shoot of workers holding them.

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Issues and Campaigns: 

Editorial: Yes, fight for jobs — but for all workers!

146

Author: 

Editorial

“We want to be careful with the nationalism, lads, so that things don’t turn nasty. I’ve got nothing against the Italian workers as such, they’re just doing a job, putting food on the table for their families.

“They’re not Without Papers, as they are EU citizens and are legally allowed to work here. Besides, this is racist. Many of us have worked abroad - Germany, Spain, Middle East - did we think or care about jobs in those countries? Getting at the workers is just going to give us a bad reputation, and turn the public against us.

We have to combine siding with the workers with arguing within the workers’ movement against nationalist blind alleys.

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Construction strikes: Yes, fight for jobs and union agreements - for all workers!

As Solidarity goes to press, workers’ demonstrations over union-agreement coverage on construction projects had just been held at the power-station sites at Staythorpe in Nottinghamshire and the Isle of Grain in Kent.

Demonstrations over construction projects continue. Issues, slogans and prospects.

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Tubeworker 11/2/09: Unions Must Fight Job Cuts!

As London Underground announces 1,000 job cuts with TfL to follow with many more, Tubeworker calls for an effective fight. It also discusses the call for an amnesty for immigrant workers, reports on the 'snowday' farce, and carries several other local reports.

Click the file name below to view, download and/or print it. Click here to read Tubeworker's blog.

As London Underground announces 1,000 job cuts with TfL to follow with many more, Tubeworker calls for an effective fight. It also discusses the call for an amnesty for immigrant workers, reports on the 'snowday' farce, and carries several other local reports.

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Reports from Lindsey Oil Refinery and the union protest in London about Staythorpe

Author: 

Mike Fenwick and Martin Thomas

Mike Fenwick reports from the mass meeting of construction workers at Lindsey Oil Refinery on 4 February.

Reports from a mass meeting at Lindsey Oil Refinery and a demonstration in London by construction workers from Staythorpe, Notts.

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Lindsey Oil Refinery workers' new demands; and Italian unions on the dispute

Union placards
The demands adopted by the Lindsey Oil Refinery construction strikers at a mass meeting on 2 February; and a statement from Italy's biggest union federation, CGIL

These are the demands adopted by the Lindsey Oil Refinery construction strikers at a mass meeting on 2 February:

* No victimisation of workers taking solidarity action.

* All workers in UK to be covered by NAECI Agreement.

* Union controlled registering of unemployed and locally skilled union members, with nominating rights as work becomes available.

* Government and employer investment in proper training/apprenticeships for new generation of construction workers - fight for a future for young people.

* All Immigrant labour to be unionised.

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Around the world: 

Yes, fight for jobs - and for all workers!

Union placards

Author: 

Website editorial

"We want to be careful with the nationalism, lads, so that things don't turn nasty. I've got nothing against the Italian workers as such, they're just doing a job, putting food on the table for their families.

"They're not Without Papers, as they are EU citizens and are legally allowed to work here. Besides, this is racist. Many of us have worked abroad - Germany, Spain, Middle East - did we think or care about jobs in those countries? Getting at the workers is just going to give us a bad reputation, and turn the public against us.

The workers now on strike are our people. We are on their side. We have to combine siding with the workers with arguing within the workers' movement against nationalist blind alleys and for international working class solidarity.

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