The government’s refusal to give a vital contract to the Bombardier rail manufacturing firm, costing thousands of jobs in Derby, continues to spark anger in the city.
Up to 10,000 people marched through Derby last month against the decision not to give the £1.5 billion contract to build Thameslink rail carriages to the company.
The National Audit Office announced last week that it is to investigate the awarding of the contract. The unions are pressing for it to look at the social and economic impact of the decision.
Unfortunately, it seems that the unions’ only strategy is to put legal and political pressure on the government.
But the key force in winning this battle for jobs will be the workers at the factory itself.
They will need to take more action—including protests, strikes and sit‑ins—to win.
Activists are arguing that the government should be forced to nationalise the company to save jobs.
Bombardier is a profitable company that could easily afford to keep the workers on and not sack them.
Worryingly, the fascist British National Party (BNP) was out campaigning in Derby city centre last Saturday over the issue of “British jobs for British workers”.
Some union leaders made this easier for the BNP by using the slogan in their speeches at the mass rally the previous week.
It will take a united fight against these attacks, which puts the blame on the people responsible—the government, the free market and the bosses, not workers in other countries—to save jobs.