The threat of an all-out indefinite strike this Thursday by workers at the Linamar car plant in Swansea (formerly Visteon) has paid dividends. Linamar have reinstated sacked union convenor Rob Williams, an active socialist whose links with other threatened car plants made him a key target for bosses set on breaking union organisation.
The vote for strike action was overwhelming. It came on the back of a disgraceful campaign of intimidation by bosses, including foremen threatening workers with the sack if they took action in support of Rob. Clearly the bosses’ tactics have backfired.
This victory should serve as inspiration for all threatened car workers, trade unionists, left activists and any person concerned with the way workers are being made to pay for a crisis created by bankers. The recent Euro elections showed how the BNP and others on the far right are benefiting from the betrayal of workers by Labour: if we are to reverse this trend then we must rebuild the fighting organisations of the working class. That will not happen without significant victories in the class struggle. And as the Linamar workers have shown, no weapon is more powerful than the threat of all-out indefinite strike action, especially when backed by the threat of solidarity action at Linamar’s suppliers in the USA. In a period when national chauvinism has reared its ugly head in the labour movement, this was a timely reminder of the need for workers to unite internationally to combat a multinational enemy.