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The politics of direct action and the struggle of the Visteon workers

category ireland / britain | workplace struggles | news report author Tuesday May 19, 2009 01:02author by Workers Solidarity Movement - Belfast branch Report this post to the editors

On Saturday 9th May, the Belfast branch of the WSM held a public meeting at An Culturlann in West Belfast on ‘Can Direct Action achieve success’.

Contributions from former Visteon workers, Dessie McEnroe and Mark O’Hara on their participation in the occupation, building links with fellow workers and lessons learnt.

Here is a short report and audio recording from the discussion.

Contributions from former Visteon workers, Dessie McEnroe and Mark O’Hara on their participation in the occupations, building links with fellow workers and lessons learnt.

The Visteon workers referred to the initial steps taken to occupy the plant to the continuing running of the factory based on direct democracy and mass assemblies in which everyone’s views were taken on board. An occupation sustained by support from their families and wider community. The speakers also talked about the concessions achieved, and a sense of betrayal by the trade union bureaucracy. Lastly, what lessons can we learn from this latest workplace occupation.

WSM member Sean Matthews gave a short introduction and chaired the discussion. Davy Carlin, spoke about the politics of direct action and his own personal experiences in social struggles over the last few years.

Concessions obtained by the visteon workers

One week’s basic pay for every year worked up to 41 years of age.

One and a half week’s basic pay for every year worked over 41 years of age.

Twelve weeks pay in lieu of notice.

A special payment of 52 weeks basic pay.

*To date the occupation continues until the visteon workers receive the actual payments.

link to audio recordings

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