A member of West Midlands Anarchists speaks to libcom.org news about the impending closure of Peugeot's Ryton factory near Coventry, which will cost thousands of jobs.
"Peugeot made a profit of over one million euros last year, and how did it repay its workers and the Ryton plant near Coventry? Not with bonuses and pay rises, but with redundancy. The workers at Ryton have been making the most successful car in the company’s history the Peugeot 206, therefore the unions have stated that the plant is profitable.
Unions have vowed to fight the closure, with messages of support coming from French union who will come out in solidarity to help save Ryton. Ryton workers are the most flexible workers in Europe and have consistently achieved every goal the company has set them.
The closure is not about falling sales, it is about corporate greed in 2005 the company achieved sales of 3.9 million pounds. The bosses want to move production to Eastern Europe where workers will be paid a lot less making Peugeot even more profitable than what it is now.
Workers at the Ryton plant will not be the only workers affected, those who supply parts, service vehicles and everything else that goes in to keeping the plant going will be affected. There is no telling what an effect that will have on the local economy, so the loss of 2,300 jobs will probably be only be the start of a domino effect which could possibly claim thousands of more jobs.
If the plant closes the workers will have to retrain, if we look at other big plant closures such as Rover, almost half of the workers are still not in full time employment and those who have managed to get a new job are now in jobs which pay less, have little or no pension schemes and are often temp jobs. With the average age of the Ryton workers at 49, they will not be able to get a pension they would have had if Ryton was not closing, this could mean that workers who have been there all their lives paying into their pensions will now be forced to frantically save for their retirement.
If the plant closes, it will be a defeat for working class people everywhere. We have saw Rover workers standing alone, will we let the Ryton workers stand-alone as well? Only the solidarity of all of our class will save Ryton."
WMA's website is at www.wmanarchists.org