Swindon's people urged to take to the streets to Save Honda
- Saturday 16 March 2019
- March and Rally to #SaveHondaSwindon Saturday 30 March 2019
- From 11:00 hours at Swindon Town FC coach park for rally at 12:30 hours at GWR Park, Faringdon Road, Swindon
- Unite brass band and Swindon's Josh Kumra join the day to defend the plant
The people of Swindon are being urged to turn out in their thousands to save the town's biggest employer, it has been announced today (Saturday 16 March).
A march and rally to bring the community together in the fight to stop the closure of the Honda Swindon plant is being organised by the car workers and their union, Unite, in two weeks' time, on Saturday 30 March 2019.
In a devastating, shock move last month, the Japanese car giant announced that it was to close the Swindon plant, directly hitting 3,500 jobs at the plant and putting at risk 12,000 or more throughout the region and wider supply chain.
The march and rally are part of the campaign to persuade Honda to think again, and to encourage other manufacturers to see how determined this town is to fight for its future.
The march will gather from 11:00 on the day at the Swindon Town FC coach park, setting off from 11:30 towards the GWR Park at the heart of the town's historic railway village.
At the head of the march will be two Honda Civics, the models famously made at the Swindon plant and which make up one in every 10 cars sold in the UK, joined by the workforce, a marching band, friends and supporters from around the region. Unite is also mobilising across its manufacturing members and the extensive supply chain which stretches as far afield as south Wales.
At the rally in the GWR park, those gathering in support of the Honda workers will hear from the workers and their families and Swindon's mayor cllr Junab Ali.
Children's entertainment and food will be provided by local businesses that want to show their support, but there will also be performances by Unite's famous brass band and Swindon's own Josh Kumra, singer and songwriter of number one hit single 'Don't go'.
Speaking ahead of the event, Unite regional secretary Steve Preddy said: “The news of the closure initially knocked the stuffing out of the Honda workforce, but the support they have had from their community so far has been tremendous. We are really hoping that this solidarity will be on display at our community event this month for the Honda boardroom in Japan to see.
“This will be a day for friends, families and supporters to come together to say that over the past 30 years, this town has given so much to Honda. The company cannot just turn its back on Swindon and its people now.
“It is not just the Honda workers who will suffer if this company walks away. We know of smaller companies whose only contract is with Honda so if Swindon closes, these jobs go too. The knock-on effect for the region will be devastating which is why we will fight until the last to persuade this company to think again, to stay loyal to the workers of this town and to Honda's customers in the UK.
“So we call upon everyone in Swindon and the surrounding area, stand with us on 30 March. Let's take to the streets of the town and show that we are determined to fight for a brighter future for our communities."
Performing at the rally will be Swindon's Josh Kumra, who said in advance: “Swindon is my home town and I want the best for it. It will be hit so hard if Honda moves out which is why I want to be part of the campaign fighting to persuade Honda to think again. I hope that the community will join us on 30 March to send that message loud and clear.”
Further information about the march route can be found on the Save Honda Swindon campaign Facebook page or on the Unite website https://unitetheunion.org/honda30march
Over 15,000 people signed the #SaveHondaSwindon petition in one weekend. Unite is organising street stalls throughout the region to encourage further signatures and promote the march.
For more information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065 or Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869 [email protected]
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.