Wednesday 13 June 2007

The struggles continue

Yesterday, I took part in a radio debate on private equity following the news that Ford may be selling Jaguar and Land Rover to private equity firms.

The evidence is mounting against Private Equity firms, from the GMB's excellent report at the beginning of the month, to the Work Foundation's report earlier in the year which described private equity as "one of 21st century capitalism's most virulent new forms". There is clear trend when private equity management teams take over there are job cuts averaging 20%, pay rates go down, and as the GMB report showed often leads to companies being debt laden and pension funds going insolvent.

I've seen this first hand with the Gate Gourmet dispute, and earlier this year with NCP workers in Enfield. It is low paid workers who suffer so that obscene profits can be made by these private equity giants. I tabled EDM 1675 to highlight concerns about this potential sale of Jaguar and Land Rover and calling on the Government to intervene so that these workers do not suffer the same fate.

I also spoke today in an adjournment debate on Remploy factory closures, and am a sponsor of Linda Riordan's EDM 1583 opposing the closures. I called on the Minister to bring together the management and unions - who have done excellent work in proposing an alternative strategy, and of keeping MPs informed of their struggle to keep workplaces open for a very vulnerable group of workers.

I offer my solidarity to these campaigns.