Over 220 workers facing the dole with closure of TRW in Resolven

27th September 2010

Over 220 workers are facing the dole with the closure of TRW in Resolven (ex-Cam Gears). Coming on the back of closures of Bosch, Borg Warner and Linamar - over a thousand and a half car workers in South Wales have been put on the scrap heap as the area threatens to become an industrial desert. This is at a time when thousands more workers in the public sector are threatened by the Con Dem coalition's cuts. Neath and Resolven in particular will be hammered by the closure.

TRW say that there is no alternative that there is 'overcapacity' and one of their European plants has to go. However, what they don't say is that Resolven has been part of a blind bidding process where plant has been put against plant to offer concessions - cuts in wages and terms & conditions at a time of increasing inflation. In desperation, the workforce offered a 15% cut but it wasn't enough for TRW. Pensions weren't part of the deal because the company had already closed the final salary scheme last year. Resolven workers now suspect that they've been the victims of a process which hasn't been on a level playing field. In any case, after suffering years of the company demanding concessions and with the threat of closure, workers have rightly refused to give up their enhanced redundancy which would only make them easier and cheaper to close.

This closure can be fought and defeated. At the very least, TRW can be forced to improve the redundancy deal for the whole workforce. But for this to happen, TRW must be told to expect a war to the end. TRW isn't a stand alone plant in Resolven but part of a national and even international company. There should be an immediate meeting of TRW convenors and shop stewards with support pledged if Resolven fight. This should be supplemented by a community campaign centred on Resolven but reaching out far and wide. Parallel with a campaign for a strike ballot, a public meeting or march in Resolven could give the workforce the confidence to fight and send a clear message to TRW that this is a fight to the end.

The words of local politicians is ok but should TRW walk away, the community can't afford to lose another factory in the year that marks the 25th anniversary of the Miners Strike. The factory should be nationalised to save the jobs and skills."
A South Wales Car Worker
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