Occupy And Nationalise Vauxhall Plants

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THREE companies have bid to take over GM Europe from the crisis-stricken US giant. They are Italian carmaker Fiat, Canadian parts maker Magna and US investment firm RHJ International.

GM will have the final say. However the German government will play the key roll in bankrolling the purchaser. It is likely to insist that the major axing of plants that will follow must take place outside Germany.

Since Fiat have already told the German government that, if it purchases GM Europe the Kaiserlautern plant will be axed because of problems with a duplication of production, the outlook for the Vauxhall plants in the UK is especially grim under capitalism.

With the German government due to choose its preferred bidder next week, the scene was set for the entry of the UK Business Secretary onto the scene.

Mandelson spoke up yesterday to issue a warning that there will be a ‘painful change’ after GM Europe is taken over.

He added that the pain was ‘inevitable’, and would take place whichever of the three bidders the German government decided to back financially.

‘Whoever comes out as the successful bidder will cut costs and consolidate,’ he said.

He also said he was working hard to secure the future of Vauxhall’s plants.

The Business Secretary, a great enthusiast for supplying the banks with up to £1.2 trillion of loans and guarantees also made it very clear that the British government was not going to purchase or nationalise the Vauxhall GM plants.

While the bankers are being coddled, workers at Vauxhall GM and throughout the motor car industry are to be thrown to the wolves.

GM Europe has already admitted that it needs £3bn and will run out of money before the end of June.

They will not get it from Mandelson. He is far more interested in the warnings, the IMF has made, that the UK needs a much more drastic cuts in expenditure than Chancellor Darling unveiled in his Budget if the pound sterling is to avoid a massive collapse.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has just revised its outlook for the UK to negative as government debt soars.

It said that the UK’s triple-A credit rating was at risk without a credible plan to put its debts on a ‘secure downward trajectory’ by the next government.

However government borrowing hit a record in April, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, with public sector net borrowing rising by over 400 per cent to £8.46bn this April, compared to £1.84bn in the same month last year.

The ratings agency said that the UK’s public finances were deteriorating rapidly, ‘at a faster rate than Standard and Poor had previously assumed.’

These are the forces that Mandelson takes note of – definitely not the working class which finances his party.

The working class, through its trade unions, must take action to defend itself.

This means that following Mandelson’s warning workers at Vauxhall GM plants must occupy them at once, and demand that the Unite leadership of Woodley and Simpson officially support the occupation and calls national strike action to secure the nationalisation of Vauxhall GM and all motor car plants that are threatened with closure.

It is obvious that Brown and Mandelson, who are only interested in saving the banks, will not nationalise Vauxhall GM.

The trade unions must therefore be prepared to bring the Brown government down, and bring in a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies.

Capitalism is bankrupt. Forward to Socialism.