‘Industries must be nationalised under workers control and with no compensation to the failed former owners,’ said All Trades Unions Alliance national secretary Dave Wiltshire yesterday.
‘Anything less is to bail out bankrupt capitalism and will not protect jobs,’ he added, in response to the latest sharp fall in manufacturing output revealed by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply’s (CIPS) purchasing managers’ index.
This index fell to 41 last month, its lowest reading since records began in 1992. Any reading below 50 indicates a contraction.
The news follows Ford Southampton’s announcement Tuesday that it is going on a four-day week, following moves to short time by GM Luton, Jaguar, Land Rover and Bentley.
GM Luton, formerly IBC, will not be working on Monday 6, Friday 10, Monday13, Friday 24 October and then shut for a week from Monday 27-Friday 31 October.
ATUA national secretary Wiltshire added: ‘Workers need to expropriate the banks, building societies and industries to save their jobs and homes.
‘The unions must be made to take action to bring down this government and any coalition that emerges, and replace it with a workers government that will carry out socialist policies.’
The figures from CIPS mark the fifth consecutive month of contraction in the manufacturing sector.
Domestic demand was particularly weak with clients cancelling orders.
‘Given the unprecedented chaos in global economies, there was little respite for UK manufacturers in September,’ said Roy Ayliffe, CIPS director of professional practice.
Firms had begun to lay-off non-essential staff, the survey found, and there was also a trend towards not filling vacated positions and postponing expansion plans.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘Today’s figures from the CIPS are depressing.’
He added: ‘Today’s figures confirm that overseas markets are also feeling the pressure and UK exports, usually a strength for manufacturing, are suffering as a result.
‘An interest rate cut next week would give a welcome boost to manufacturers.’
Meanwhile, official figures revealed growth in the service industries was unrevised at 0.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2008.
This is the first time since August 2002 that there has been no increase in the three-months-on-previous-three-months headline rate.
Meanwhile, as the world waited for the US Senate to vote on a revised Bush bail out plan, the Brown government was in talks yesterday with those involved in the Lloyds TSB takeover of HBOS.
This followed concerns that recent volatility in banking shares meant the deal would be renegotiated or scrapped.
In New York, continued uncertainty saw the Dow Jones Industrial index open down 130 points.
• The administrators of failed US bank Lehman Brothers’ European division have axed 750 jobs at the firm with immediate effect.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said late Tuesday that the move came ‘despite exhausting all avenues’ to save the posts.
The vast majority of the cuts will be made in London, where the firm employed about 5,000 people.