DEFEND GM JOBS! – JUNE 1st is bankruptcy day

Jason, James, Kofi, and Mitchell, all students at Bedfordshire University,  Luton.
Jason, James, Kofi, and Mitchell, all students at Bedfordshire University, Luton.

Car parts maker Magna International was yesterday reported to have reached an agreement in principle with General Motors to take GM Europe off its hands.

Any such deal will need to be approved by the German government, which will be bank rolling any new owner.

GM in the US is to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday June 1.

German officials are believed to be willing to finance the deal provided the German Opel plants remain open.

On Thursday, the German government criticised the US Treasury and General Motors after being told at the last minute that GM Europe would need another 300m euros ($415m; £260m) in short-term funding.

It has already offered almost 1.4bn euros in loan guarantees.

No deal between GM, Magna and the German government would see GM Europe close down by the middle of next week.

A deal is expected to see the brunt of closures and sackings fall on the non-German GM Europe plants.

Yesterday in central Luton, workers were adamant that every GM job in Luton and Ellesmere Port had to be defended.

Paul Jenkins, an ex-railway worker, said: ‘I think that not only should industries that declare themselves bankrupt be nationalised but that all the industries like the railways that have been privatised should be brought back under public ownership.

‘IBC/GM should definitely be nationalised to save jobs, the only people who should be sacked immediately are MPs and the bankers who are responsible for this crisis.’

Jemma, a local government worker said that she had many relatives and friends who worked at IBC:

‘If Fiat or this other company take over GM they will not keep van production going in Luton.

‘The loss of all these jobs will devastate the economy of the town, Luton will be killed, like our football team!

‘With the Vauxhall car plant closed a few years back, the closure of the van plant will mean that there is nothing but the airport and that doesn’t employ many people.

‘Today if you lose your job there is no chance of other work and you are left facing mortgages and bills. You lose your house and your dignity.

‘If the plant can’t be kept open in any other way then nationalisation must be seriously considered.’

Mitchell, a student at the local University of Bedfordshire said: ‘There is nothing in the future for young people, we come out of university with degrees but no work and no chance of apprenticeships or anything.

‘The closure of the van plant means thousands of jobs going forever.

‘This government does nothing to save jobs, it’s a rubbish government and we need to get rid of them.

‘I believe the factory should be occupied to stop its closure.’