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Submitted by martin on Wed, 22/04/2009 - 22:17

The Visteon Enfield plant has supplied parts to the Ford Transit assembly plant in Southampton and the Jaguar Land Rover assembly plants in Halewood, Merseyside, and Solihull.

The Belfast plant has supplied throttles to Ford engine plants (Dagenham and Bridgend, I suppose, but I'm not sure).

So far as I know from talking with workers at Enfield, there has been some contact by union representatives from London with union reps at the Southampton, Halewood, and Solihull factories; but nothing of the sort of the union organising minibuses full of Visteon Enfield workers to visit those factories and talk with as many workers as possible.

Unite members should, it seems to me, press the union officials to facilitate such delegations, and to set up a regular, transparent system of financial aid for the Enfield pickets.

The Ford Southampton plant was already at risk before the economic crisis arrived in full force, with talk of Ford relocating all Transit van production to Turkey.

You do not need to be an alarmist or conspiracy-theorist to think that the closure of the Enfield plant - so that Southampton now cannot get the parts Enfield used to supply without importing them, and these are parts which car firms usually source within fairly short range - sounds a new warning signal for Southampton.

Active help from the Southampton workers for the Visteon Enfield workers would also be self-help.

Martin Thomas

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