300 angry railworkers marched through central Doncaster last Friday in a demonstration of protest against their sacking by arch privitisers Jarvis Rail.
This jobs slaughter is Jarvis' response to an financial meldown involving themselves and Network Rail.
Jarvis Rail despatched these workers with the utmost brutality the day before the Easter holiday. No redundancy, no holiday pay and no negotiations have been offered. "Work not dole" & "Our jobs have been stolen" - these were the fury-filled chants that electrified this grassroots demonstration convened by RMT activist Trevor Frost.
Mark Hardeman - TSSA activist & rep - said;
"The government and Lord Adonis knew all about what was going on with Jarvis. It is outrageous that they are allowing jobs that make the British economy stronger go to the wall, while bailing out the bankers. The money claimed as bonuses in the City would have kept us in work. The public need to get behind us because our fight for justice is also a fight for safety. How many more rail disasters does there need to be? We are dedicated to safe travel, and our strong union organisation meant we refused to cut corners. Now our work is being done at a cheaper rate by less skilled staff. It is ironic that the first bank holiday I have had at home for the last eight years is when Jarvis sacked me"
Jarvis Rail - chaired by Tory grandee & privitisation guru Steven Norris - shot to infamy with their involvement in the 2002 Potters Bars rail accident.
Mark Hardeman added: " This campaign has got off to a cracking start. There's real unity at a rank-and-file level from all the unions involved: TSSA, RMT, Unite and the GMB.
We're standing a sacked worker Bill Rawcliffe against Ed Miliband in Doncaster North as a TUSC candidate. This will energise the campaign and offer a real political alternative."
Gerry Doherty - general secretary of the TSSA union - commented: "Yet again, the pain brought about by the cuts programme being pursued by Network Rail is felt by rail workers, many of whom have dedicated their working lives to the rail industry and are now being cast aside like rag dolls by children too old to use them.
The Government should have long since intervened to stop Network Rail from laying waste to our rail industry. Unfortunately they haven't and nothing has been done to safeguard any of the jobs or skills lost.
"The absolute disinterest shown by Network Rail to the plight faced by Jarvis, their workers and their families and the loss of key engineering skills to the rail industry has been shameful, but no doubt it will be well rewarded when Network Rail directors dip their snouts in the trough for their annual bonus feast in a few months' time."
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