The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

France:
Visteon Strike Gains

Apr 12, 2010

The following article is translated from the April 2 issue of Lutte Ouvri re (Workers Struggle), the paper of the revolutionary workers group of that name active in France.

Visteon workers at three sites in northern France went on strike on March 22. It was the first time they were on strike together. No truck could carry parts from these sites.

“Poverty wages, 5% increase or nothing,” said their posters in front of the factory. Management had offered only 1.8% for workers, and nothing for salaried employees. Workers were also angry about job reductions. They have had eight layoffs imposed since 2001.

Visteon in France had profits of 128 million dollars, despite the crisis. But that never stops the bosses from “reducing costs.”

On the fourth day of the strike, with pickets at Gondecourt, Carvin and Harnes – and lack of parts causing problems at automakers Renault, Volvo and Peugeot – management came to an agreement. It ceded an across the board wage increase of 4.9%.

Some workers thought, after the auto assembly plants had to shut, that with a little more perseverance they could have had more. But the majority were happy to have shut the plants, to have fought together, side by side.

And this solidarity is what’s important to resist management’s never-ending demands for cuts.