The mobilisation, anger and direct action of working class people opposing water charges in the south has got the government on the run. Much is made of a brick thrown at Garda and Joan Burton being trapped by a ‘mob’ in her car during a water charges protest. Little to nothing is said about police violence against protestors or the devastating impact this charge will have on poor working class families. Families already devastated by attack after attack upon them by bosses and government in the name of ‘austerity’.
Over the spring, hundreds of workers at three car parts manufacturing plants across the UK were made redundant. In response, workers occupied the plants and, in doing so, demonstrated that any protection we might have from the ravages of this recession will come not from the generosity of employers, politicians or trade union bosses but from the action we take as rank and file workers.
In June 2000, Ford Motor Company outsourced production of some of its car parts to Visteon, an apparently independent company, but in reality one in which Ford retained a 60% holding. The relatively smooth changeover was negotiated on the promise that the ex-Ford – now Visteon – workers would remain on Ford terms and conditions, including pensions and redundancy packages.