Car factory occupations spread across the UK

Car factory occupations spread across the UK

Sacked workers from the car parts firm Visteon have been occupying three factories across the UK since Wednesday.

The action began with an overnight sit-in at the Visteon plant in Belfast and employees are continuing their protest at the factory. More than 100 workers have staged a sit-in, the Unite trade union has said. Earlier, it was announced that 565 staff would go at Visteon car components plants across the UK. Most of the jobs have been lost with immediate effect and two hundred jobs will go at the Belfast factory.

KPMG said it had no alternative but to close the factory and the two others in Basildon and Enfield in England. Administrators have been called in to the factory which is the former Ford plant. Visteon has a total workforce of 600 in the United Kingdom.

Unite convenor John Maguire said the workers at the plant had "been treated disgracefully".

"We have been left with no choice but to occupy the factory to save our jobs and to defend jobs for the people of Belfast," he said.

Fifty people who were sacked on Tuesday are now on the roof of the Enfield plant. Others are holding a sit-in at the plant in Basildon in Essex.

The protesters claimed the company's former owner and main customer, Ford, had promised redundancy contracts which they now want to see honoured.

Comments

Ed
Apr 1 2009 18:15

Discussion of the occupation, here

redacteur
Apr 2 2009 12:26

Support Visteon Factory Occupation in London, Enfield

Short Report, 2nd of April 2009

After car parts manufacturer Visteon announced job cuts workers occupied plants in Belfast, basildon and Enfiled. In Enfield about 70 workers - men and women from all kinds of backgrounds - are still inside the plant and on the roof. Last Tuesday the management called for a general assembly and told people that they would have to leave their workplace immediately. They were told to fetch their personal belongings the next day at 10 am. When people turned up the factory was already closed. Workers entered through an unlocked side entrance and occupied the plant.

The security guards won't let people go inside, they also blocked the fire exists with padlocks - which is clearly illegal. Last night, Thursday 1st of April, two bailiffs entered the plant. They issued an eviction order, supported by five cops. The eviction order was flawed, e.g. it was not signed and it had the wrong address on it. Workers expect a proper eviction order for tomorrow, Friday, 3rd of April. In case of eviction workers plan to picket the plant. they also plan to go to Ford Dagenham for a solidarity picket.

The plant manufactured parts for various car companies, for example Land Rover, Jaguar, Madzda, Renault, Ford. In 1991 there were still 1,100 people employed, this number came down to 250. Workers guess that Ford Southampton, the main 'client', piled up stock lasting several weeks - Ford Southampton announced redundancies and will eventually shift production of the Transit to Turkey. Links of solidarity between Enfield and Southampton is the most pressing.

People have the most basic stuff inside, sleeping backs, some food etc., contributions are welcome, ex-Visteon workers and neighbours from Enfield drop by with food. Unfortunately the G20 hype has pushed the occupation into the public back-ground. The occupations are the first 'offensive' collective reactions to the crisis, we should support them - particularly given the pending threat of eviction. So spread the word and come up to Enfield:

Meeting point: Friday, 3rd of April and Saturday, 4th of April at 10 am at Ponders End Railway Station
(the plant is 5 in walk, cross the foot-bridge, walk down main road towards Central London, the next street to the left is Morson Road, the factory situated at the end)

Bring along: friends, banners, food, music...

Mobile Phone inside the plant: 07799896466

Red Marriott
Apr 3 2009 15:33

Demonstration outside the factory at 10am tomorrow.

davidbroder
Apr 4 2009 15:21

A few comments from Visteon/Ford employees occupying the Enfield plant:

http://thecommune.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/voices-from-the-visteonford-occupation/

Alf
Apr 5 2009 22:07

Short article in new World Revolution

http://en.internationalism.org/wr/2009/323/visteon

Any reports from Saturday's demo at Enfield?