Nationalise LDV and GM Vauxhall – no Royal Mail privatisation!


WITH even more right-wing forces seeking to bring down the Brown government from the right, trade unions now have an opportunity to show their power, by demanding that the Brown government cease its attacks on the working class and halt the privatisation drive.

As the PCS trade union observed after the resignation of Work and Pensions Minister Purnell, his plans to privatise the Welfare State and attack the benefits of the most vulnerable in society must be abandoned.

However mere words or good arguments will not work with Brown and his gang who only really care for the bankers.

The trade unions must tell the Brown government that the Purnell programme must be abandoned or else it will face strike action.

In fact, the trade union leaders are reacting to the crisis of the Brown government by getting closer to Brown and Mandelson and pledging that they will not rock in any way the Brown boat.

They are doing this while millions of workers’ jobs are under attack.

The LDV van factory has just gone into receivership, and up to 1000 jobs at the plant are to go, along with thousands of other jobs that depend on the plant.

The Unite trade union statement on this crisis made by Tony Woodley declares: ‘This is a bitter blow for manufacturing and the West Midlands region in particular. However, LDV has been in a vulnerable situation for many years and today’s sad announcement is not due to any lack of effort by either Unite or the government to find solutions.

‘We must now redouble our efforts to give the beleaguered manufacturing industry the help it needs.’

This is treachery. The Labour government has refused to nationalise the LDV plant to save its jobs, and the Unite trade union leaders have refused to call any action to defend the plant.

They have refused to call an occupation and they have refused to demand that the plant be nationalised and placed under workers control.

The Brown government has remained loyal to its banking friends, while the Unite leadership has betrayed its members onto the pittance of the Jobseekers Allowance.

This disgraceful conduct is a real warning to the GM Vauxhall workers and to workers throughout the motor industry that they must remove these leaders and build a new leadership in the union, in order to defend their jobs.

Currently the CWU conference is in session.

CWU members, whether in BT or in Royal Mail, are faced with mass sackings, a major attack on their pensions, and the part-privatisation of Royal Mail.

This is after the Royal Mail workers have been put on a permanent wage freeze after making record profits for the industry.

Now Royal Mail executives have told the Brown government that if the industry is not rapidly privatised they will scrap the pensions scheme for Royal Mail workers.

These attacks must be replied to.

Mass sackings in BT must not be accepted. Royal Mail must not be privatised and the Royal Mail pensions scheme must not be abolished.

The Conference must tell Brown that if these threats are not withdrawn the CWU will take strike action against the BT employer and the Royal Mail, and will not hesitate to scrap the government, bringing it down, to bring in a workers government.

The trade unions must spell it out that what is required in Britain is a workers revolution to get rid of bankrupt capitalism and replace it with a socialist planned economy.

This is the only policy that is in the interests of the working class and the poor. Only the WRP fights for this policy and perspective.