Socialist Worker

Derby Bombardier workers fight for their jobs

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2261

Thousands will take to the streets of Derby this Saturday to protest against the government’s decision not to give a crucial contract to rail manufacturing firm Bombardier.

The decision will cost 1,400 workers their jobs at the plant—and many more jobs will go at other companies.

The Tories said that they had to give the £1.5 billion contract to build the Thameslink carriages to Siemens, as it was the best “value for money”.

Around 40,000 people have signed a petition against the decision.

The unions held a rally last week and lobbied transport minister Phillip Hammond in an attempt to get him to make a U-turn.

The Right to Work campaign also held a meeting—with speakers from the unions, Labour Party and the Greens—on Tuesday.

Workers should not be facing the dole. Even without the Thameslink contract, there are many vital things that the Bombardier workers could be doing—such as renewing Britain’s dilapidated rail stock.

Putting more resources into public transport is a crucial part of a sustainable future and tackling climate change.

Campaigners for climate jobs are enthusiastically backing Sunday’s demonstration.

Bombardier could use its massive profits, created by the hard work of its employees, to keep people in work.

But that goes against the logic of the free market, which the firm and the Tories are signed up to.

It will take action by Bombardier’s workers to force the government to change its mind. The demonstration is a good first step, but strikes and other forms of action will be needed to win this crucial fight.

Demonstrate: March from Bass’s recreation ground to rally at Silk Mill Museum. Assemble 10am, this Saturday 23 July. Supported by Unite, RMT, GMB, TSSA

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Tue 19 Jul 2011, 17:25 BST
Issue No. 2261
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