Car workers at Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) plant in Halewood, England expressed solidarity with striking US Volvo workers in Virginia.
JLR, which made hundreds of redundancies at Halewood in 2020, plans 2,000 further job losses in non-manufacturing roles across the company as part of a “full review” of operations over the 2021/22 financial year. Unite union national officer Des Quinn said of the redundancies last year, “Given the unprecedented drop in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was all but inevitable that job losses would be announced… If workers are made redundant then Unite will ensure they receive everything they are legally entitled to.”
Speaking to the WSWS, JLR worker Shaileth said, “The deal at Volvo should not be accepted. If a worker has been working 20 years or so in a factory, he has given almost half his young life, and suddenly the government and management cut down his health insurance and retirement benefits, it will impact on everything, his family.
“It should never happen, bringing in new workers in place of men on strike.”
Chris told our reporters, “Good luck to them [striking US Volvo workers]. It’s a hard battle. People should stick together.”
Gareth said, “Whatever affects Volvo workers, affects us, has a knock-on effect. If they do it to them, it’ll end up happening to us.”
Gary said, “I want to show Volvo workers solidarity, our love and support.”
Giving solidarity to Volvo workers, Dion said, “We need to be for them because one day we will need them for us.
“When the unions go into meetings with management they are already primed for what they are going to say. They try to make out to us they are going to get us this and that. But when they go in, they always seem to agree on a lesser deal. The unions used to be for us, but now they are for them.”
The Socialist Equality Party has also received several write-ins from workers.
Gavin, an education worker, said, “Long live the cause of the striking Volvo workers! Solidarity from Dublin, Ireland.”
David, who works in media and publishing, sent “Solidarity and love from Yorkshire.”
Healthcare worker Tim, from Sheffield, told Volvo workers in Virginia, “Keep up the good fight and never for one second think that we are not all behind you right here in Britain and everywhere. Show us the way to do it! Be the first!”