This post appears on the website of CPO supporter Charlie Marks, and is reproduced with kind permission of the author.
Car production in the UK is efficient, let no one fool you about this. Plants which produce cars are linked to plants which produce parts – there’s a supply chain to consider. Also, many work in other services which are dependent upon skilled workers spending their wages.
We need to have cars which are energy efficient – though effective demand has slumped globally, we all know this is due to our chaotic economic system, not to the car being made obsolete.
It’s not Rover!
Four years ago Rover went under – the government could have nationalised the company and set up a joint-venture with the Chinese, the company ended up in China selling to their domestic market.
Instead the government let Rover go, and now many of the skilled workers formerly employed by the company are in lower skilled and lower paid jobs.
The same mistake cannot be made again – the government has bailed out the banks which have failed to get lending again.
There’s no doubt that if Vauxhall is bailed out, we’ll see a return – with new energy efficient cars being made at UK plants for sale across the world as demand recovers.
Whilst other EU govts get their checquebooks out, the UK govt is nowhere to be seen. At the negotiations, there’s no one to represent car workers in Luton and Ellesmere Port – remember, UK workers are easiest for big businesses to sack in the EU.
It’s a sickening sight – “Lord” Peter Mandelson pretending he’s got a guarantee against mass lay-offs and blaming unions for scaring workers when he knows that’s what will happen.
At least he’s the sense to stop wittering on about protectionism – we all know that when the rich cry poverty the money flows from the government to protect their corrupt system.
But when thousands of skilled workers face uncertainty, New Labour are too spineless to step up to defend them, fearful of a backlash from the super-rich. Mandelson and co. are so eager to please them that they will allow no concessions to working people – look at his actions over Royal Mail where most people oppose privatisation, even within New Labour.
The threat of a good example!
Car workers at Luton and Ellesmere Port can follow the example of the Visteon workers who occupied their plants to demand justice.
There would be no shortage of support, no limit to the solidarity that others would demonstrate.
We own the banks now – we can get them to invest in the car industry.
Don’t despair – organise, occupy, nationalise!