Click here to hear an interesting radio interview with American left communist Loren Goldner, who lives in South Korea, on the factory occupation at a Ssangyong car plant in Pyeongtaek which has been maintained for two months in response to huge job cuts. See below for footage of the violent police attempts to smash the mass-sit-in, which workers have organised to resist. Continue reading “radio interview with loren goldner on ssangyong factory occupation in south korea”
Workers at the Vestas wind turbine blade plant on the Isle of Wight have occupied their factory in Newport in an attempt to prevent its closure, which was scheduled for the end of this month. Their brave fight in is an example of what workers can do when they get together and take militant action to save jobs and sustainable industries.
We call upon everyone around the country to send whatever support they can to the workers at Vestas. We all have an interest in a sustainable future, and we all have a responsibility to show solidarity to workers in struggle.
We have already reported on the significance of this struggle, both in terms of its concrete objectives, and in terms of how it came about. The occupation has occured against a background of non-unionised workers, and activists from Workers’ Climate Action appear to have made a significant contribution to the organisation so far, including introducing the idea of an occupation.
More news will follow when we have it. A list of resources, events, and things you can to do help follows. Continue reading “vestas occupied!”
The fourth issue of our paper The Commune (May 2009) is now available. You can read the PDF online by clicking the image below, write to us at email@example.com to request a printed copy, or look at the list of articles below as they are uploaded.
go forth and occupy! – editorial of The Commune, part 1
mitie cleaners resist city of london bosses – by Jake Lagnado
no to “no2eu”! – by Dave Spencer
we can defy the jobs massacre – editorial of The Commune, part 2
of policemen and mad professors: communism and physical force – by Chris Kane
workers occupy visteon factories – by Samantha O’Driscoll
dynamics of the struggle at visteon – by strike supporters at enfield
update on activities of the commune around the country
political parties and workers’ self-management – by Goran Markovic
the struggle for women’s emancipation today – by Liz Leicester
the g20 protests: the devil against the detail – by Nathan Coombs
leftist opposition gains ground in algeria poll – by Solomon Anker
A key feature of working class resistance to the recession has been a welcome revival of workers occupations In the USA, Ireland, Scotland, England and France we have seen workers occupy their workplaces to prevent closures and job cuts. One of the first and most militant occupations has been in Ukraine in the city of Kherson. Just as in the UK, the demand for nationalisation has been raised by sections of the labour movement in Ukraine. Unsurprisingly in a country which is living with the legacy of totalitarian state-socialism, where for decades the state was the universal capitalist of the whole economy, this slogan has caused some controversy. An article which has sparked debate on this question was published by comrades of the Union of Revolutionary Socialists, and The Commune is pleased to publish a translation this analysis by these Ukrainian and Russian Marxists.
By Joe Thorne
At 2pm last Tuesday, 565 workers at three sites of Visteon, a car component manufacturer tied to Ford, were given six minutes notice of redundancy. They did not get their last week’s pay, though it turned out that the Friday before around four or five hundred quid had been deposited in each of their accounts in place of redundancy pay. The same night, Belfast workers occupied their factory demanding jobs or proper compensation. And the next morning,1st April, appropriately just before midday, workers at Enfield standing around outside, waiting to collect their things, decided to seize the moment and take over their site too. A side door was either found open or broken down, and the occupation begun. Continue reading “notes from the visteon rally – enfield”
On Tuesday March 31st workers at Visteon factories – making car parts for Ford brands – across the UK were told that Visteon Corp could no longer prop up the UK branch, and so they would all lose their jobs with immediate effect. That night a hundred workers at a plant in west Belfast occupied their workplaces, and the next day were followed by their colleagues in Enfield (north London) and Basildon in Essex. We spoke to a number of the workers involved in the sit-in at Enfield, and have gathered some of the occupiers’ comments below.
“I’ve been working here for nineteen years. I’ve always been working for Ford and we were Ford workers, but in 2000 this place was farmed out to Visteon. At the time the union signed a deal with the chairman of Ford Motor Company to guarantee all Ford workers the same terms and conditions under Visteon. We had a contract with Ford. They’ve broken it. It’s disgusting. Can’t they see that we had a contract and we need them to stick to it? It was signed by the union – I was at first in the AEU, but now it’s Unite – and what we’re demanding is that Ford sticks by their side of the agreement. We don’t want any trouble – there’s been lots of redundancies before, down from around 1100 when I started to around 220 today – and it was always voluntary redundancies. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to say yes sir, thank you sir, and lie down and let them walk all over us. We’re staying until they honour their side of the deal”. Continue reading “voices from the visteon/ford occupation”
An abridged version of an article from a comrade in Kyiv
Over a month after 300 workers at an engineering plant in the Ukrainian town of Kherson launched an occupation of their factory in defence of their jobs and demanding the payment of unpaid wages, the movement took a step forward early this month with the occupation of the provincial government building. This followed large demonstrations through the town, also including other trade unionists and young activists.
On Monday 2nd March workers from the Kherson Machine Building Plant (KHMZ) occupied the ground floor of the building of the Kherson provincial state administration and provincial council. About 500 workers arrived at the building in the centre of Kherson and demanded a meeting with management and the council, in order to seek payment of wages in arrears. Continue reading “workers in ukraine occupy the kherson engineering factory… and the local council”
by Chris Kane
On 7 February a demonstration was held in Kherson in Ukraine in solidarity with the workers of the engineering plant now under workers occupation. Many workers came from other factories in Kherson and activists from left organisations in Ukraine. The workers occupied the engineering plant in opposition to redundancies and elected a workers council which is now in control of the factory.
Send messages of support for the workers at the factory: firstname.lastname@example.org
And to the coordinating committee in support of the occupation: email@example.com
More photos below:
Three videos on the subject of the week-long occupation of the Republic Windows & Doors factory in Chicago. This won a huge pay-off worth $1.75 million for the workers concerned, who lost their jobs due to the recession.
In our recent pamphlet Strategy for Industrial Struggle Chris Kane argued for the revival of the occupation tactic to resist lay-offs and redundancies in the current recession. It is excellent to see that workers in Chicago are putting such long-lost tactics into action – from socialistworker.org
WORKERS OCCUPYING the Republic Windows & Doors factory slated for closure are vowing to remain in the Chicago plant until they win the $1.5 million in severance and vacation pay owed them by management.
In a tactic rarely used in the U.S. since the labor struggles of the 1930s, the workers, members of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 1110, refused to leave the plant on December 5, its last scheduled day of operation. Continue reading “factory occupation in chicago”