Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/494/2603
Not so nice Mr Branson
RMT rail union members working for Virgin on the West Coast mainline took strike action on 27 and 28 June in defence of a member who had been sacked for allegedly causing "wilful damage to company property."
She had been working on one of Richard Branson's new Pendolino (tilting) trains, when she fell and hit her head on the touch-screen display in the on-board shop. She sustained head and neck injuries and a black eye.
Despite the injuries, she was accused of head-butting the screen on purpose and was dismissed.
In a leaflet produced by RMT they say: "Although the catering staff are not safety critical their day-to-day experience on the trains means they are a great monitoring tool to ensure that trains are running safely on the tracks. They are in a position that allows them to report anything that they feel is out of the ordinary, meaning that more thorough checks are carried out on both the trains and the tracks."
The leaflet goes on to say "Now staff are scared to report any incidents for fear of being treated in the same unfair way."
Socialists must support rail workers in their fight to force Virgin to re-instate this victimised trade union member.
It clearly shows the need to take back the rail industry into public ownership under the democratic control of rail workers and passengers.
This would ensure that the safety of workers and passengers is paramount. Public service is about quality services, not helping to create more billionaires at the expense of the rest of us.
A Manchester Socialist Party member and rail user.
In The Socialist 5 July 2007:
National Shop Stewards Network
Campaign for a New Workers Party
What we think
Postal workers strike
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Tales from the council chamber
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party events
Socialist Party review