The Socialist

The Socialist 31 March 2021

Unite and fight - For the right to protest

The Socialist issue 1127

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Trade union fighters rally to support victimised workers

Declan Clune campaigning in Southampton, Photo: Southampton SP

Declan Clune campaigning in Southampton, Photo: Southampton SP   (Click to enlarge)

Sue Atkins, Southampton Socialist Party

The RMT, National Shop Stewards Network and Southampton Trades Council came together to hold a very successful Zoom rally in defence of victimised trade unionists, RMT reps Declan Clune and Gary Carney, Unite bus shop steward Moe Muhsin Manir and National Education Union rep Kirstie Paton, with over 120 in attendance.

Bus and tube workers, teachers, trade union and trades council reps were there - it was an authentic voice of the best of trade union fighters, rallying in support of their own, victimised and sacked for standing up for health and safety and the jobs of their members.

We also heard from Steve Hedley, RMT assistant general secretary, who explained what a travesty it is for trade unionists to risk losing their jobs in this way, and pledged the full support of the union.

In Southampton we have closely followed the RMT branch's battle with Bluestar bus company which has increasingly targeted Declan for being an effective representative of local bus drivers.

We know that Bluestar has had to be led kicking and screaming to support and uphold health and safety issues, not least during the Covid pandemic.

That is why we are particularly outraged that Declan has been sacked for doing his duty and reporting a safety issue to Network Rail. This is not just about Declan, but is an attack on all trade unionists.

As we emerge from Covid, further attacks on jobs and conditions are planned by the bosses throughout the labour movement. It's Declan today but could be the rest of the workforce tomorrow. No one is safe if Bluestar is allowed to get away with it.

Declan had a 'directors' review' on 29 March and awaits the outcome. In the meantime, Declan remains sacked and the branch members are being balloted for strike action. We pledge our full support to push Bluestar back, and for Declan's reinstatement, and indeed for all workers who are targeted for the crime of standing up for their members and health and safety. This a battle we must win.


In this issue


Elections

Mobilise Liverpool workers to defy Tory commissioners and austerity

London - We need socialists into City Hall

Warning: Labour Party cutters - careful who you phone!


News

Domestic Abuse Bill: So much still to fight for

We will not be the lost generation

Shrewsbury pickets exonerated after almost 50 years

'Chingford skinhead' spills the beans over government surveillance of union activists

Freeports spell deregulation, low pay and a new race to the bottom

No start for life


Right to protest

Unite and fight - For the right to protest

Defending the right to protest


Socialist analysis

Preparing for the revolts to come


NHS

Cumberland hospital workers fight for stolen pay

NHS pay: 15% now!


Workplace news

Trade union fighters rally to support victimised workers

BT Openreach engineers step up the pressure with five-day strike action

Asda equal pay ruling victory - now fight for equal pay for all

SPS Technologies workers strike against potential pay loss of 3,000 a year

Deskilling protests by sparks electricians continue

Beal academy strikers demand equal sick pay

Goodlord strike starts to bite

Nationalise Liberty Steel to save jobs

British Gas workers strike ahead of 'fire and rehire' deadline


Reports & campaigns

Online rally - 150 years since the Paris Commune

Selling the Socialist

Donate now to fuel our election campaigns


Readers' opinion

Football abuse scandal: Reclaim the game for justice and democracy

Socialist Liverpool City Council inspired me

Women, violence and defiance

The Socialist Inbox


 

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31 March 2021