The Socialist

The Socialist 3 March 2021

Not a budget for the working class!

The Socialist issue 1123

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Campaign for reinstatement of Declan Clune

Campaign for reinstatement of Declan Clune   (Click to enlarge)

Reinstate victimised bus driver Declan Clune

Sue Atkins, president, Southampton Trades Council

Declan Clune, secretary of the Southampton District Bus and Coach branch of the RMT and a Socialist Party member, was sacked on 26 February by Bluestar Bus company, on the spurious grounds of "bringing the company into disrepute". His crime? In line with health and safety regulations, as branch secretary he reported a bus collision with a railway bridge that the company denies.

This report was entirely necessary as it became clear there had been several incidents of the bridge being struck. All attempts to get the collision dealt with by Bluestar failed. It is company policy to report all incidents of bridge strikes and this policy was adhered to by Declan once it became known that the managers at Bluestar had not followed through on their responsibilities.

This is in reality an attack by management who also want to attack wages, terms and conditions to boost their profits.

Declan and the trade union are seen as an obstacle to this agenda and Declan's real crime is to have built the union branch and been at the forefront of a successful strike for better pay, and to have fought for the health and safety of both drivers and passengers during the Covid pandemic.

Under the cover of Covid, attacks on the trade union movement are happening up and down the country and are endemic in the bus industry.

We demand the full reinstatement of Declan to his job as a bus driver and are building support from the labour movement - an injury to one is an injury to all.

The Southampton District Bus and Coach RMT branch has passed a motion calling for the following:
  • We are now in dispute with Bluestar Bus
  • We now discuss plans around potential balloting of members within Bluestar for action
  • We launch a public campaign through this branch and the RMT Wessex region to bring news of this dispute and the actions of Bluestar managers into the public domain
  • We discuss this campaign with the RMT Wessex region to discuss and debate strategy to ensure an effective and widely fought campaign
  • Open discussion and debate within our union at RMT Wessex region, RMT national bus workers' committee, TUC and local trades councils around a national campaign highlighting the anti-trade union attacks by employers and the poor terms and conditions currently existing within the bus industry nationally
  • That this resolution, if passed, is also sent to the Southampton and South West Hampshire Trades Union Council to ask for their support and engagement in the campaign
  • That councils in the area where Bluestar operates are contacted and made aware of the poor health and safety attitudes of the company and the way in which they treat trade union officials

Please send messages of support to [email protected]
Donate to Declan's Go Fund Me campaign at

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 2 March 2021 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

In this issue


Not a budget for the working class!

Public sector workers respond to the budget


President of 'big four' Labour-affiliated trade union joins TUSC committee

Women's health matters

International Women's Day

A fighting programme for women's rights and socialism

A history of International Women's Day

What we think

Liverpool Labour meltdown - Fight for socialist policies

School safety

Schools' safety - teachers demand fighting union strategy


'Casino capitalism' - driving another potential financial Armageddon

1981: New Cross Massacre


Bus workers under attack and fighting back

Manchester indefinite bus strike against 'fire and rehire'

HMRC: Pay deal agreed but at what cost?

British Gas strike

Sparks force bosses back but fight continues to stamp out deskilling

Reinstate victimised bus driver Declan Clune

RAF Leeming strike escalates

Tech workers walk out against 'fire and rehire'

Victory for Judith, defend Moe


Why we need socialists in London city hall

Socialist Students conference

Swansea BLM protest against racist police brutality

Union fight to save musicians' livelihoods

Labour surrenders to Tories in Devon

Determined to smash the fighting fund target to fuel election challenge in May


Home   |   The Socialist 3 March 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

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3 March 2021