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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 September 2010

Ex-Jarvis workers face more attacks

Stan Herschel, RMT North East regional organiser, spoke to The Socialist about the worsening conditions of ex-Jarvis track-side rail workers who are now working for Babcock.

"The demise of Jarvis came as a shock, but the aftermath is even more horrendous." On the London North East contract alone there were 353 working for Jarvis, but it looks as though only around 250 of those will be transferred to Babcock. Most of them will be supervisors and technical staff to supervise low paid agency workers.

"Less than 12 months ago Babcock, a multinational company, said they wanted to be out of the rail industry because there wasn't enough profit.

"They now appear to have a gleam in their eye. They can see profits can be made through the exploitation of former Jarvis workers who have transferred to Babcock on inferior terms and conditions.

"To make matters worse Babcock are insisting they will not work with me - they've refused point-blank!"

Stan also explained how Network Rail, Babcock and other companies with their 'snout in the trough' are using the same tactic against rail workers in the West and South West of the country. "Their strategy is straightforward casualisation of the workplace. The money is there, the work is there, but this is a case of Network Rail wanting the work done on a shoestring.

"Sacked Jarvis worker Bill Rawcliffe, who stood as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate against Ed Miliband in the general election, now has one thing in common with former Labour MPs who lost their seats - he's also unemployed.

"If those MPs had lifted a finger to fight to save the jobs of workers, such as those at Jarvis, maybe Bill would still be employed by Jarvis and they might still have been MPs!

"All the cleaning on Tyne and Wear Metro was contracted out to Connaught Environmental, which is linked to Connaught Partnership which is now in dire financial difficulties. Connaught is now on a merry-go-round of constant redundancies, downsizing and attacks on workers' pay and conditions.

"The previous Labour government had a big enough majority over the last 13 years to put forward measures to protect the public sector - but they didn't. It seems strange to me now that many Labour MPs, including those running for leadership, have discovered their socialist souls! These people just cannot be trusted. The time has come to form a new workers' party based on socialist ideals and principles."

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