Posted by: vickim57 | 1 August 2009

Lessons of occupations past

Among the messages of support coming in are tales of previous workers’ occupations, that possibly contain some good advice for the current occupation at Vestas. I’m pasting one of them below.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I have been following your struggle for some time in the pages of the Socialist. I wish the very best of luck in your struggle to save jobs. Almost forty years ago I was shop steward myself working for GEC at Netherton near Liverpool. The Company decided to close down the factory with the loss of 2500 skilled engineering jobs. We proposed a workers take over and sit in. Sadly the management organised against us and our efforts were thwarted. Ironically our product was power generation equipment – water and steam turbines.

I’m retired now and can offer you little but moral support and encouragement. I hope you are more successful than we were. Perhaps a word of advice. We were short sighted and failed to recognise that managers would move against us. Be alert and look out for areas of weakness which the company might seize upon.

The secret is to take your members with you. Hold regular meeting with them and discuss matters fully with them This is where we went wrong. Involve them. Give every worker a task, something to do such as going to talk to other local workers and you will be successful.

If I can be of assistance then please let me know. If you ask me to help and I can then I will.

Ted Mooney, Socialist Party supporter, Liverpool


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