The announcement by BMW of sale of their british car plants to a group of venture capitalist is a blow to all carworkers.
The immediate effect is the loss of 6.000 jobs at LONGBRIDGE and the rundown of that plant to the point where it is a very small scale specialist producer. Its survival seems unlikely.
BMW has also sold the LANDROVER plant to FORD and it is negotiating for the sale of the SWINDON BODY PRESSINGS PLANT. This only leaves the COWLEY-OXFORD plant which produces the ROVER 75 for the venture capitalists ALCHEMY. The new MINI will be produced there.
The reason for the immediate announcement of job losses is that the investors know that sales of ROVER cars will now collapse.
When BMW took over ROVER from British Aerospace and Honda they agreed to continue the "jobs for life" agreement. ROVER WORKERS had already given away many of their working conditions. BMW continued to get more concessions on working time and soleries.
BMW must be made to honour their commitments including a new model for Longbridge. Longbridge workers must be supported. The same goes for Landrover workers. Any internal reorganisation of Rover plants, models and worker assignments offers no security at all.
Nor can BMW workers in Germany take comfort from any of this. Their jobs too will be threatened.
The Rover and BMW Workers must use their european works council for ímmediate action. The trade unions involved must organize delegations from all BMW/Rover plants to discuss this crisis.
The closure of such a major plant affects all european car workers.
Today BMW - tommorow Ford? GM/Opel?
Please send messages of support to Longbridge joint shop stewards committee:
Birmingham, B - 31
Fax: 0044 - 121 - 482 5538
Phone: 0044 - 121 - 4824811 (Don Thompson)
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