Fight for car jobs

ROLLS ROYCE workers in East Kilbride this week took two-day strike action for the fourth consecutive week against the threat of at least 500 job losses (one third of the workforce).

Two weeks ago management withdrew 25 compulsory redundancies due for the end of April after the workers threatened all-out action. Now ‘voluntary’ redundancies only are promised, as a mass meeting of workers of all four unions decided on an indefinite strike if more sackings are contemplated.

Owen Thomas, East Kilbride chair of the MSF, the main union involved, told me: “As far as we are concerned, we’re going to win this dispute - we’ll leave their plans in tatters. Their business is falling down around them.”

Management’s policy is to transfer the work to Derby, where its plans will no doubt be aided by union bureaucrats, who have successfully persuaded their members to call off their own strike action. Bristol and Coventry workers have also been on strike, as the company steps up its attacks at every plant.

Convenors from all plants are co-operating in refusing to allow the transfer of work and in organising a £2 weekly levy. But the union leaders have allowed plant by plant bargaining, resulting in the Derby fiasco.

The crying need is for the rank and file to take the lead in organising united national action by all Rolls Royce workers, all of whom are facing attacks on pay and conditions.

Peter Manson