Socialist Worker

Never forget the lessons from the King’s Cross fire

Issue No. 1979

The rally at King’s Cross last Saturday (Pic: Guy Smallman)

The rally at King’s Cross last Saturday (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Over 200 people came to a joint union protest outside King’s Cross rail station in London on Saturday over New Labour proposals to water down tube safety.

The government wants to scrap regulations that were introduced after the King’s Cross fire 18 years ago, which claimed 31 lives.

There were speakers from the RMT, FBU and Aslef unions, which organised the protest. And among MPs speaking were Frank Dobson and Jeremy Corbyn.

A campaign earlier this year succeeded in alerting backbench MPs to the threat to reduce the regulations covering staffing levels and forced the government to back down until after the general election.

The rail and fire brigade unions are calling for renewed pressure on MPs, and not just in London, which also faces fire cuts voted through by the Greater London Authority. Scrapping safety regulations would also affect the Tyne & Wear Metro and Glasgow underground.

There were cheers when RMT leader Bob Crow said, “One reduction in safety and you’ll get the biggest ballot for action you’ve ever seen.”

He called on everyone present to put local election candidates on the spot over where they stand on the cuts to safety in the run-up to next May’s council elections.

And he called on other trade unions to consider where they were putting their political funds as those elections approach.

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Sat 3 Dec 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1979
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