Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/798/18141
2004 Tebay disaster: Workers' grievances must not be sidelined
S K Metcalfe, Branch secretary, RMT Lancaster/Dis. 0844 (personal capacity)
Ten years ago, 27 men and women merely making a living were killed because of their employers' sheer irresponsibility.
The first group were the 23 Chinese cocklers in Morecambe Bay. The second were the rail maintenance workers from the Tebay disaster of 15 February 2004, our union branch members.
The RMT has campaigned ever since Tebay for improved protection (secondary protection) on track. This has still not been implemented as Network Rail systematically dragged their feet.
Presumably they do not want to incur financial responsibility for maximising workers' safety in our world of privateers and cuts where only capitalism is encouraged by all governments since the 1980s.
We, the RMT, are holding our tenth memorial rally at Tebay on Saturday 15 February. We are urging the railway management to implement effective secondary protection and not try to wriggle out of it anymore.
All are welcome to attend and show solidarity again. That's unlike all politicians in the area with the notable exception of ex-Morecambe and Lonsdale MP Geraldine Smith.
Notwithstanding Geraldine, not one local councillor or county councillor has attended our rally in ten years!
This has to change. Workers' grievances must no longer be side-lined as have the Hillsborough victims, the Shrewsbury pickets and many others.
Rally at 12 noon, a quarter mile south of Tebay where the A685 goes over the railway lines, at the memorial.
If we stand together we will win.
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In The Socialist 12 February 2014:
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