Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

Posted on 6 April 2009 at 0:00 GMT

Basildon Visteon Update

Workers picket Visteon at Basildon, photo Greg Maughan

Workers picket Visteon at Basildon, photo Greg Maughan

The home made signs outside Basildon Visteon plant summed up the angry mood of the sacked workers - "we want justice", "sold out by Ford", "How do you sleep at night?"

Eleanor Donne, Jacques Botjer and Greg Maughan

Members of Basildon Socialist Party spoke to Wayne Stevens, Unite deputy convenor at the picket outside the plant: "We had been on short time doing three days a week, but there was no suggestion that the plant was going to close. There was even talk that we may get four days that week. However, at the end of our shift on the Tuesday we were called to a meeting in the canteen. The managers told us that one hour ago the company had gone into administration".

The workers were told to get all their things and leave the premises. One placard at the protest outside summed it up - "33 years of service, six minutes to get out".

Workers were furious that administrators had been dealing with Visteon for at least 60 days, but no warning was given. In the time that the managers knew the company was 'going under' workers produced thousands of pounds worth of parts, which are now stockpiled in the plant.

While staff were grafting, management were breaking a sweat making sure their backs were covered. Visteon managing director Steve Gawne put his name to a spin-off company last year, Visteon Engineering Services.

It seems a number of Visteon UK executives have had their pension funds transferred to this company so that they're protected. This is while allowing Visteon to go into liquidation so as to avoid the payouts the workforce are entitled to! No wonder banners hang outside the plant reading 'Frauds Motor Company' - as far as the workers are concerned, the transfer to Visteon was a stitch-up all along!

Wayne and others we spoke to outside the gates have hundreds of year's experience at Ford and Visteon between them. They still consider themselves to be Ford workers as they were promised the same terms and conditions when Ford set up Visteon in 2000. Many on the picket line spoke of how their fathers and grandfathers worked at Basildon Ford before them.

Management had callous disregard not just for the workers in Visteon but for the whole community that they're throwing out on the scrap heap.

The workers at Basildon are determined to prevent any equipment or goods from being removed from the plant by administrators. They have organised a 24-hour rota on all gates to make sure no lorries can get in or out until they have received what is rightfully theirs.

Alongside the constant pickets, other activity is being organised to make sure their situation is known as widely as possible in the area - Sunday saw a protest march and rally which was addressed by stewards Frank Jepson and Scott Edmonds, as well as Paula Mitchell from the Socialist Party, amongst others. Wednesday 8 April is family day on the pickets, with workers getting their partners and kids along, while visits with leaflets to other local manufacturing plants are now being co-ordinated.

Everyone on the pickets are solid and willing to stick things out until the situation is resolved.

Building Support in the Community

Basildon Socialist Party members held our regular stall on Saturday in the town centre. Our call to 'Fight for Jobs' was given extra meaning because of the sudden closure of the Visteon car parts plant on the Tuesday - a loss of 170 jobs in Basildon if Visteon and their parent company Ford are allowed to get away with it.

Lots of people came up to express support for the workers who are holding a round the clock protest outside their factory. One woman said her son works for a company that serviced Visteon's computers, and that could now be under threat, like many other support industries for Visteon in the town. We asked people to get messages of support from their trade union branches or have a workplace collection and take this up to the picket outside the plant.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


Related links:


triangleEssex cuts racket must end

triangleEssex: Why I'm standing for TUSC

triangleTV: Ross Kemp - Living with Forced Out Families

triangleBasildon Socialist Party: Socialist ideas can beat the Tories

triangleVisteon: when factory occupations stayed the hands of the bosses


triangleFord workers vote for action

trianglePotential new steel bosses refuse to take on pensions

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleFinal meeting of Swansea Visteon pensioners


triangleRatcliffe rats on Bridgend workers

triangleAusterity anger feeds movement for Welsh independence

triangleNSSN meeting determined to fight for Ford workers


triangleCanada: Prime Minister Trudeau invokes Emergencies Act to end 'Freedom Convoy'

triangleTamil Solidarity protest against repressive Sri Lankan regime

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Restore Cardiff's slashed services



Just Eat couriers continue action to fight pay cut



University workers continue strike against bosses' attacks



Tube workers strike in defence of pay, pensions and conditions



Workers and students unite and fight



Fighting fees and marketisation after 2 March student walkout



Brighton Green and Labour cuts - workers and communities fight back



Surrey: Unions and campaigns say stand as an anti-cuts candidate



Newham City Farm - closed with no consultation



London Socialist Party women's meeting



1 March: Socialist Party new website launch



Coventry bin strikers lobby strike-breaking Labour council



Scunny scaffs action forces bosses to the table



Usdaw: 'Reinstate Max' week of action



Trade union support for standing anti-cuts election candidates

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

July 2022

June 2022

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

February 2022

January 2022