Solidarity’s south west regional organiser, Glen Nicklasson, visited Okehampton in Devon on the 2nd July and along with another activist distributed 500 leaflets.
The activists gathered for breakfast in the town centre and then leafleted nearby properties and a housing estate on the edge of town. A number of Solidarity posters were also placed on lamp posts in the town and on the Exeter Road Industrial Estate.
The rural Devon town has been rocked recently by the loss of 350 jobs, including two large employers (Robert Wiseman Dairies and Kerry Ingredients) announcing they are closing their factories. This is having a devastating effect on the town.
The most annoying thing about the Okehampton situation is that some of the companies are not closing down completely, but relocating elsewhere to increase their profits. Kerry Ingredients is one of these companies, relocating to Worcestershire and laying off 106 staff. Such is the economic extremism of capitalism. Though their has been some opposition to this from the established Trade Unions, a growing number of union members now feel distanced from the six figure salary of their leadership, and unions which send money abroad whilst workers in Britain suffer. Okehampton, and Devon and Cornwall as a whole is a low wage, shrinking economy. What this area needs is a union with priorities representing the workers at home and not large salaries of the TUC elite or those who work overseas. This is why in the south west further Solidarity Trade Union activity is planned.
If you are a Solidarity member in the south west, Glen would like to hear from you, either regarding issues in your area, or if you are interested in joining a leafleting group to help spread the word that there is a union which puts all the workers of Britain first.