THE UNITE union, representing car workers, said yesterday that its members will fight ‘tooth and nail’ to safeguard Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant, and urged Boris Johnson’s Tory government to take a ‘no-deal’ Brexit off the table.
The union was responding to comments by Carlos Tavares, the boss of Vauxhall’s owner the French PSA Group, that the car maker could move production of the new Astra away from Ellesmere Port in the event of a bad Brexit.
Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: ‘Unite has been in positive discussions with PSA about a new vehicle agreement and securing new models for Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant.
‘All that hard work is now hanging by a thread as Boris Johnson and his government of hard Brexiteers play no-deal roulette with the livelihoods of thousands of Vauxhall workers and their colleagues in the supply chain …
‘Unite is in continuing discussions with PSA. We will not sit back and allow PSA Group to walk away from making cars in the UK to then sell cars made elsewhere back into what is the fifth biggest car market in the world.
‘We would urge the UK government to meet with us urgently to help us secure the future of both Vauxhall Ellesmere Port and our “jewel in the crown” automotive sector which is now at serious risk following a ramping up of no deal posturing …
‘It is imperative for the future of the livelihoods of thousands of people who depend on Vauxhall Ellesmere Port that a no-deal Brexit is taken off the table and a deal reached with the European Union that secures frictionless trade and tariff free access.’
It is not the prospect of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit that has undermined the UK car industry.
It is the crisis of capitalism and its raging trade war between the US, the EU and Japan, that has seen Japanese companies, such as Honda and Nissan, withdrawing production from the EU and taking it back to Japan in order to ship their exports to Europe from there.
The only way to defend car jobs in the UK is for the trade unions to occupy the car plants, take their case to the TUC and demand it calls a general strike to bring down the Tories, and bring in a workers’ government, that will expropriate the motor car industry and put it under workers’ management as part of a UK-wide economic plan.
In fact, the whole of the working class is affected by the developing worldwide crisis and trade war.
Workers at the historic Belfast shipyard Harland & Wolff have urged Johnson to nationalise it to save it from closure.
Unions have warned that the yard, is just ‘hours and days’ from closing. Susan Fitzgerald, Unite’s regional coordinating officer, said PM Johnson should step up to save jobs and the shipyard, whose majority Norwegian owner has filed for bankruptcy.
Fitzgerald said: ‘Harland & Wolff – with the world’s sixth-largest dry dock – is facing insolvency next week. If that happens, the skills of the workers, as well as the yard’s infrastructure, will be lost, diminishing the economy’s potential.
‘Harland & Wolff is of vital economic and strategic importance – and the asset-stripping vultures are already circling. The government needs to intervene immediately to nationalise the shipyard,’ she added.
The Tories will not nationalise Harland & Wolff.
The workers of the UK face a huge jobs threat from the crisis of capitalism and its trade war between the US, China and the EU. The EU is an enemy of the working class. Under its legislation state ownership to save jobs is illegal. It is an organisation of the bosses and bankers for enriching them alone.
To defend jobs will require the working class uniting to occupy the factories, and force the TUC to call a general strike to bring down the Tories, and bring in a workers government. This will expropriate the bosses and nationalise the major industries in a planned socialist economy.
This policy will go hand in hand with proceeding with Brexit on October 31, and encouraging the hard-pressed workers of France, Greece, Italy, Belgium and Germany to rise up to put an end to the EU and replace it with a Socialist United States of Europe. This is the only way forward!