Socialist Worker

‘My friend died on a site. I won’t ignore safety issues’

Issue No. 1923

Steel erector Garry Jackson is one of two workers who have been sacked for raising health and safety concerns at the incinerator construction site on Bernard Road in Sheffield.

Garry told Socialist Worker, “I was dismissed from the site and told this was because I had been using a mobile phone. Then they claimed it was because I had deliberately damaged a piece of machinery called a cherry picker.

“Next I was told that I was being transferred from the site to another job in Stoke—which I was not able to get to.

“It was plain and simple that they wanted me out of the way because I opposed dangerous working practices.

“I have worked in this industry for ten years. My friend died on a building site and I will always be vigilant about health and safety.

“I would rather be a whistleblower than compromise safety.

“I want to make sure me and my fellow workers get home to see their children every night, not end up in hospital or worse.”

Construction workers are the forgotten people who have sweated their guts out to meet deadlines and produce the great buildings which are essential for the whole of society.

They are right to demand that the companies which have made so much cash from these projects should now be forced to offer good conditions and pay something like decent wages.

Amicus construction section officer Greg Douglas told last week’s meeting in Sheffield:

“You name it, we’ve built it from scratch—power stations, factories, chemical works—in Britain and across the world.

“We have a fight on our hands now. The employers need to know that we will fight them tooth and nail to defend and extend our national agreement. There has been some slippage, but we will not let them drive the wedge in any further.”

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Article information

Wed 13 Oct 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1923
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