For all too many corporations, war is seen as a useful means of boosting profits. But even in these times of war aplenty the wealthy individuals profiting from the highly refined and efficient destruction of human life like to streamline their business interests.
This “streamlining” process, otherwise known as a war-on-workers, is currently being undertaken in Leicester; as last November Thales UK announced that they planned “to relocate the work from its site in Scudamore Road, Braunstone Frith, to a more modern factory in West Sussex.”
At the moment, 205 employees face redundancy when the Braunstone Frith factory closes operations later this year. And as the Leicester Mercury reported: “It is the second major jobs blow to hit this area of the city in two years, after BAE Systems closed its armoured vehicle factory in Scudamore Road in 2011, with the loss of 260 jobs.”
Although Thales is a French company, one British person who will be financially remunerated by the closure of the Leicester factory is Lady Taylor of Bolton, who since 2010 has been privileged to be a Thales board member.
“Lady Taylor of Bolton — Ann Taylor — was [Labour’s] minister for defence equipment for a year until 2008 and became minister for international defence and security until Labour lost the general election in May.”
Such tidy connections are sadly all too normal in British politics, as the chairman of Thales UK is the “former Conservative arms procurement minister Roger — now Lord — Freeman.” You might know Lord Freeman from his more caring work as a board member of the IT company, Parity Group plc, which recently “won a contract with NHS direct to develop and support a new Health Information Search Portal for £1.4 million.” This reward is fitting, as in addition to his profitable interest in warmongering, Lord Freeman is an ex-health minister.
The Thales factory in Leicester is most famous for its role in producing drones, like the Watchkeeper, which are then sent to help reap violence upon many innocents living in Afghanistan; although that said, don’t be too surprised if you don’t see similar surveillance drones flying around Britain soon.
But whilst socialists support calls for an end to the building of weapons of mass destruction, we oppose any loss of jobs that might result from it. Therefore companies such as Thales should be nationalised under democratic workers control and production shifted to useful alternatives for society. This is why the opposition to imperialist war is linked to the struggle for socialism.
Today being “Women’s International Day for Disarmament,” a protest is being held by CND activists outside the Thales factory on Scudamore Road East at 2.30pm, so if you are free why not pop along and show your support and determination to fight for a humane industrial future. The same group will then be leafleting and talking to people at 4.30pm by the big level crossing near the train station at the end of Granby Street.
Contact Jan Wild-Grant 0116 2911 534 / 07730 685 485 or firstname.lastname@example.org or CND on email@example.com or Facebook: Women’s International Day for Disarmament.