Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/415/4723
Reinstate Andy Beadle
Support grows for sacked bus worker
BUS WORKERS, trade unionists and members of the public have reacted with shock, disbelief and anger at Andy Beadle’s summary dismissal as a driver at Peckham bus garage.
Andy, the democratically elected Transport and General Workers’ Union (TGWU) rep at the garage, was sacked for representing his members’ views over recent pay deal negotiations.
Drivers at Peckham garage showed their determination to support Andy at an emergency TGWU branch meeting, held at the garage gates as Andy was barred from entering.
The 20 bus workers who turned up unanimously backed a motion calling for the union to start a ballot for strike action in support of Andy’s re-instatement.
The level of support for Andy’s campaign in Peckham garage is also shown by Andy selling at least 20 copies of last week’s the socialist to drivers there.
One driver, Peter Dunn (who’s been working six years at Peckham and 17 years in total on the buses) said: “When Andy was negotiating for us he acted in our best interests, as a result he called for a ‘no’ vote and then he was sacked... we should be having several days of strike action to get his job back”.
Another, Danny, said: “I reckon Andy acted for the best, we wanted a decent pay rise... he is not a yes-man, that’s why the company doesn’t want him. He stands for no nonsense ...the trade union should fight for him all the way.”
More and more bus workers are getting angry over their conditions and pay. Andy’s sacking is a management attempt to remove those reps who are leading the opposition to their attacks.
This is an outright management attack on fundamental trade union rights. They cannot be allowed to get away with this.
Bus workers and workers generally must fully support the campaign for Andy’s unconditional re-instatement. In Peter Dunn’s words, which echo what must be many bus workers’ feelings: “If he (Andy) goes then they can do what they like with us”.
The mood amongst bus drivers is overwhelmingly supportive. This reflects their anger not only at Andy’s sacking but also at the poor pay deals they are being offered and the way that sections of the union regionally are trying to force through these deals.
Send your protests to Peckham garage: 020 7639 1326. London Central buses: 020 8646 1747, fax: 020 8640 2317. firstname.lastname@example.org
Send messages of support to: email@example.com
Building the campaign
ANDY’S SACKING is getting known throughout London bus garages.
Campaigners, including Socialist Party members, have taken leaflets around garages throughout London from Merton, Stockwell and South Croydon in South London to Tottenham, Hackney and Walthamstow in North and East London and handing them out to drivers at bus stops.
Drivers in Tottenham, North London, had already heard about Andy’s sacking and are very supportive.
Socialist Party members have also been raising Andy’s campaign amongst the community as a whole. One South London UNISON branch has offered Andy the use of their facilities to help in the campaign for his re-instatement. At Saturday’s stall in Peckham, South London, many trade unionists including a retired print worker and a college lecturer member of NATFHE, were appalled that Central bus managers had been allowed to get away with this attack on basic trade union rights.
In The Socialist 10 November 2005: