Mandelson to read last rites for GM Luton – workers must occupy the plant and see that it is nationalised!


BUSINESS Secretary Peter Mandelson – who did not lift a finger to save the LDV van factory from administration, to which it was consigned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska (an old friend of his) costing over 800 workers their jobs – is to visit Luton on Friday.

He is coming to read the Luton GM plant the last rites, in a situation where there is no preferred bidder for GM Europe.

GM and the German government are opposing the bid of the Magna-Sibvert-Gaz (Deripaska again) group based on fears that the plant and technology will be exported to Russia, while the Belgian private equity firm RHJ has entered the scene and is about to sign a memorandum of understanding to give it access to the Opel-Vauxhall accounts.

GM has let it be known that it favours closing three of its European plants, and that Vauxhall Luton is on the top of its list.

Mandelson’s press office has said that he will be seeing the management and the union leaders and having a press conference before selected journalists.

However the workers at GM Luton must be sure that they have their say, and it is heard.

They must stop work as soon as Mandelson appears and demonstrate and gather around the meeting place to let Mandelson, the management and the union leaders know exactly what Luton workers want.

They must insist that the meeting is broadcast live to all the plant’s workers who have a right to know exactly what is being planned for them by the bosses and the union leaders. There must be no secret talks. The fate of workers cannot be decided behind closed doors.

Workers must insist that they will not accept a single redundancy and will occupy the plant to stop its closure. Workers have the right to a future.

The closure of Luton GM will be a death sentence for the town and must not be allowed to happen.

Immediately following the Mandelson visit there must be a mass meeting for all of the plant’s workers where measures to defend and keep the plant open can be discussed and decided.

The plant must be occupied to stop its closure.

The occupation must be supported by the establishment of a Council of Action to mobilise every trade unionist, worker and youth in Luton to support, sustain and defend the occupation.

There must be a national campaign to demand the nationalisation of GM Luton and GM Ellesmere Port.

Such a campaign will spread like wildfire throughout every industry and every trade union, from Corus to Honda and Jaguar-LandRover.

Millions of workers must be mobilised to bring down the Brown, bankers’ and bosses’ government and bring in a workers government that will nationalise the banks and the major industries under workers’ control, and management and organise a planned socialist economy based on satisfying people’s needs.

It is not only Mandelson who needs to be made aware next Friday about what the workers want.

The Unite leadership must be told to its face that it is absolutely disgraceful that it opposes the nationalisation of GM Luton, on the grounds that the Labour government will never do it.

They must be informed that they are paid to represent and fight for the interests of the union membership not to help the Brown government cut the throats of the workers.

If they are not willing to represent the workers and fight for their jobs and their futures they must resign and make way for leaders who will.

The fate of the GM Luton plants will be decided in the next few days.

Workers must do everything that is necessary to defend their jobs, and keep the plant open, that means occupying and nationalising GM Luton.