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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 November 2018

'Worker's death could happen again' at Leicester plastic factory

A plastic machinist, photo by Keith Hayes

A plastic machinist, photo by Keith Hayes   (Click to enlarge)

Leicester Socialist Party

No one expects to die at work, no one should have to. But under capitalism the harsh reality is that private profit often outweighs worker safety.

Tarsem Singh, an employee of 23 years for Nylacast Engineering Solutions, plastic engineers in Leicester, died in April 2016 after an industrial accident. He was hit by the end cap of a pressurised moulding machine travelling at a speed of up to 80mph.

A former employee has testified that he had been hit in the hand by an end cap in a previous incident. A safety expert has said the machine had not been properly risk-assessed and was an accident waiting to happen.

The case was due to come back to court in December but a worker for Nylacast contacted the Socialist when the workers were threatened by the company to keep their mouths shut.

Threats

He told us that a statement was read out to the workers on behalf of the chief executive saying that the company was going to plead guilty in the court case so that Tarsem's family would get a pay-out, but that Nylacast was in no way guilty and that any worker caught saying otherwise would be disciplined.

This worker went on to say that the equipment at the company is falling apart. He said that machinery had been bought in 2000 and never replaced - that not only was Tarsem's death an avoidable accident but one that was waiting to happen again.

According to him, there used to be two health and safety workers on site. But after one left in December 2017 he has not been replaced. All this from a company with a turnover of 32.4 million

Our source says that workers are furious at the death of their colleague and the threats from above. He described company bosses that are incredibly anti-union and workers as being in fear of losing their jobs.

Strike

But when two metal workers died at work in Cadiz, southern Spain, earlier this year, a general strike of thousands of metal workers across the sector paralysed the industry and held the bosses to account.

The strike made it clear that these deaths were not just accidents but a direct result of the high turnover of staff due to precarious contracts, the intense pace of work and the lack of security - all measures taken with the aim of saving money.

It is a scandal that globally and in the UK, the sixth richest economy in the world, that workers' lives are at risk. This is the reality of a capitalist system run for the wealth of a tiny privileged elite.

Workers organised in their workplaces can fight together in trade unions against callous exploitation and for a socialist world where profit does not stand in the way of health and safety and there is no price tag on a worker's life.

Trade unionists locally are discussing the possibility of organising a protest at the next court date.

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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.
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In The Socialist 21 November 2018:


What we think

Tories Out! General election Now!

May's government limps on... Corbyn and unions must call urgent, mass action


International socialist news and analysis

How can Trump be defeated?

Spanish state: Over one million students strike against sexism and for inclusive sex education

Political turmoil in Sri Lanka


News

Even UN slams Tory poorhouse Britain

Housing arrears double, suicide risk soars - scrap Universal Credit!

75,000 kids in foster care - and counting: end cuts and for-profit care

Them & Us

What we saw


Workplace news

Save the high street: public ownership, not ghost malls

'Worker's death could happen again' at Leicester plastic factory

Arriva Rail North under pressure after nineteenth Saturday strike

Indefinite dinner ladies' and teaching assistants' strike

Hamilton posties walk out against bullying

Tube strike solid against victimisation


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save our NHS - oust the Tory wreckers!

Solidarity with Irish rape trial protests

Thousands march against racism - now Corbyn and unions must take lead

Mansfield council must step in to save miners' park

Stop Nottingham Labour's cuts to disabled travel!

Step up fundraising for the Xmas Collectathon!


Opinion

Nothing to offer from the Blairites

The Socialist inbox


 

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