Support Visteon Factory Occupation in London, Enfield
Short Report, 2nd of April 2009 from Mute magazine
After car parts manufacturer Visteon announced job cuts workers occupied plants in Belfast, Basildon and Enfield. In Enfield about 70 workers - men and women from all kinds of backgrounds - are still inside the plant and on the roof. Last Tuesday the management called for a general assembly and told people that they would have to leave their workplace immediately. They were told to fetch their personal belongings the next day at 10 am. When people turned up the factory was already closed. Workers entered through an unlocked side entrance and occupied the plant.
The security guards won't let people go inside, they also blocked the fire exists with padlocks - which is clearly illegal. Last night, Thursday 1st of April, two bailiffs entered the plant. They issued an eviction order, supported by five cops. The eviction order was flawed, e.g. it was not signed and it had the wrong address on it. Workers expect a proper eviction order for tomorrow, Friday, 3rd of April. In case of eviction workers plan to picket the plant. they also plan to go to Ford Dagenham for a solidarity picket.
The plant manufactured parts for various car companies, for example Land Rover, Jaguar, Madzda, Renault, Ford. In 1991 there were still 1,100 people employed, this number came down to 250. Workers guess that Ford Southampton, the main 'client', piled up stock lasting several weeks - Ford Southampton announced redundancies and will eventually shift production of the Transit to Turkey. Links of solidarity between Enfield and Southampton is the most pressing.
People have the most basic stuff inside, sleeping backs, some food etc., contributions are welcome, ex-Visteon workers and neighbours from Enfield drop by with food. Unfortunately the G20 hype has pushed the occupation into the public back-ground. The occupations are the first 'offensive' collective reactions to the crisis, we should support them - particularly given the pending threat of eviction. So spread the word and come up to Enfield:
Meeting point: Friday, 3rd of April and Saturday, 4th of April at 10 am at Ponders End Railway Station
(the plant is 5 in walk, cross the foot-bridge, walk down main road towards Central London, the next street to the left is Morson Road, the factory situated at the end)
Bring along: friends, banners, food, music...
Mobile Phone inside the plant: 07799896466