A Victory At Visteon

May 1, 2009

The workers at Visteon’s plants have won an important victory, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Happy May Day to them all.

As the Socialist Worker reports, “workers’ action has forced Ford to offer hundreds of thousands of pounds in redundancy packages. Many workers will get £40,000 or more. It is one of the biggest payouts that Ford has ever offered.”

Visteon workers had occupied workplaces, despite the threat of eviction and criminal proceedings, forcing Ford, which used to own Visteon,to negotiate with them directly.

Hopefully this will help other campaigns, like that of the sacked Stead McAlpin workers in Newcastle and Carlisle to secure fair severance packages in the future. It will certainly make it harder for firms to evade their responsibilities as the recession deepens, so the courage that the Visteon workers showed is incredibly important.

Sadie Robinson of the SW puts it thusly: “Workers occupied their plants in protest and held 24-hour pickets outside to stop Visteon or its administrator, KPMG, from removing any equipment. They refused to give in until they got justice – and they have shown that militant action is the best way to get it.”

Amen to that. “The Bunk,” commenting at Richard Seymour’s Lenin’s Tomb blog, adds that “The Visteon dispute has now shown that militant action gets results. If they’d have done bugger all they’d have got bugger all. Militant action works, occupations work. This is concrete, something we have to shout about.”

Others have to know – if you stand up against power,  others will support you, something Rob Williams in Swansea knows all too well.

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