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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 August 2011

10,000 marched against job cuts at Bombardier on Saturday 23 July in the biggest demonstration in Derby for decades, backed by the RMT and other unions, photo Paul Mattsson

10,000 marched against job cuts at Bombardier on Saturday 23 July in the biggest demonstration in Derby for decades, backed by the RMT and other unions, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Bombardier

Save jobs, renationalise UK rail and train building

Steve Score and Dave Gorton

Around 10,000 marched against job cuts on 23 July in the biggest demonstration in Derby for decades. It was a protest of the working class, with train manufacturer Bombardier workers marching alongside supporters from all over Derby and beyond.

Bombardier has announced the loss of 1,400 jobs following the government decision to award the Thameslink rail project to German company, Siemens. And they spent 15 million on consultants to help them make the decision.

At the closing rally speakers including Bob Crow, transport union RMT general secretary, called for a reversal of the government decision to give 'preferred bidder status' to Siemens rather than Bombardier.

Thousands of leaflets were handed out by Socialist Party members and supporters of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) calling for the re-nationalisation of Bombardier and the rail network in order to expand public transport and create a long-term future for rail jobs.

Bombardier union convenors on the 10,000 strong march against job cuts at Bombardier on Saturday 23 July in Derby, backed by the RMT, Unite, Aslef, TSSA, CWU and other trade unions, photo Paul Mattsson

Bombardier union convenors on the 10,000 strong march against job cuts at Bombardier on Saturday 23 July in Derby, backed by the RMT, Unite, Aslef, TSSA, CWU and other trade unions, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Following the demo 100 people went straight to a meeting called by the NSSN. Darren Barber, vice chair of the Bombardier trade union shop stewards' committee, got proceedings off to a lively start: "I'm buzzing, I feel as though something can change because everyone has got together.

"The mood was dead when the announcement first came, but when the unions start getting involved we started to get some belief. It makes me proud to be a rep."

Alex Gordon, RMT president, in an excellent speech, spelt out his union's position on nationalisation and public ownership and that workers' jobs would never be safe while in the hands of private companies.

Rob Williams, chair of the NSSN, said: "We fully support the Bombardier workers. It is in all workers' interests, whether in the public or private sectors, for Bombardier workers to win.

"We stand for international solidarity, but that is no contradiction to defending the jobs in Derby. How can any government force a company to invest when it isn't owned by the government?

"Why can't the government nationalise Bombardier just like the banks? It was a Tory government that nationalised Rolls Royce in 1971 overnight to save that company - there is a precedent.

"Except that this time it should be with democratic workers' control and management."

10,000 marched against job cuts at Bombardier on Saturday 23 July in the biggest demonstration in Derby for decades, backed by the RMT and other unions, photo Paul Mattsson

Saturday 23 July demonstration in Derby, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Ex-Unite general secretary Tony Woodley's use of the 'British Jobs for British Workers (BJFBW)' slogan in his closing speech at the main rally, set alongside the platform of a Bombardier manager and Tory council leader, can strengthen the impression that 'we are all in this together'.

In reality, the interests of the workers in Derby are to fight to reverse the government's decision and to explain the pro-business/neoliberal directives of the EU which enshrine the 'race to the bottom'.

But the BJFBW slogan is a complete divergence in this campaign. The call for nationalisation makes it clear that 'we' - the Bombardier workforce and management and the Con-Dem coalition - aren't in this together and emphasises that this struggle is a class one.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 3 August 2011:


Fighting the cuts

UNITE AGAINST ALL CUTS

Building a workers' political alternative to the establishment parties


Opposing the far right

Norway: right wing terrorist killings

Waltham Forest: a victory for unity


Socialist Party NHS campaigning

NHS cuts from a nurse's viewpoint

Gloucestershire NHS


International socialist news and analysis

Eurozone and USA - Debt crisis

Kazakhstan oil strike: solidarity urgent

Syria: State unleashes new terror

Spain:"Throwing a shoe at the system"


Socialist Party workplace news

Bombardier

Reinstate Paddy Brennan!

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party youth and students

MARCH FOR JOBS!


Socialist Party news and campaigns

Disability rights

The great PFI schools rip off - once again!

News in brief


Socialist Party review

Ragged Trousered Philanthropists


Socialist Party feature

Llanelli railway riots 1911


 

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Related links:

Bombardier:

triangleRolls-Royce: fight all job cuts!

triangleBoeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangleWhat recovery? Thousands more jobs axed

triangleBombardier protest against job losses

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Rail:

triangleTransport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

triangleThe Red Line - Bulletin of Socialist Party members in the RMT

triangleNationalise the railways: For an integrated public transport system

triangleSocialist Inbox

Derby:

triangleSelling the Socialist: we're back!

triangleWorkers' union and campaign group fights Derby Rolls-Royce job cuts

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