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Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/32107

Posted on 2 March 2021 at 12:53 GMT

Campaign for reinstatement of Declan Clune

Campaign for reinstatement of Declan Clune   (Click to enlarge)

Reinstate victimised bus driver Declan Clune

Sue Atkins, president, Southampton Trades Council

Declan Clune, secretary of the Southampton District Bus and Coach branch of the RMT and a Socialist Party member, was sacked on 26 February by Bluestar Bus company, on the spurious grounds of "bringing the company into disrepute". His crime? In line with health and safety regulations, as branch secretary he reported a bus collision with a railway bridge that the company denies.

This report was entirely necessary as it became clear there had been several incidents of the bridge being struck. All attempts to get the collision dealt with by Bluestar failed. It is company policy to report all incidents of bridge strikes and this policy was adhered to by Declan once it became known that the managers at Bluestar had not followed through on their responsibilities.

This is in reality an attack by management who also want to attack wages, terms and conditions to boost their profits.

Declan and the trade union are seen as an obstacle to this agenda and Declan's real crime is to have built the union branch and been at the forefront of a successful strike for better pay, and to have fought for the health and safety of both drivers and passengers during the Covid pandemic.

Under the cover of Covid, attacks on the trade union movement are happening up and down the country and are endemic in the bus industry.

We demand the full reinstatement of Declan to his job as a bus driver and are building support from the labour movement - an injury to one is an injury to all.


The Southampton District Bus and Coach RMT branch has passed a motion calling for the following:

Please send messages of support to [email protected]
Donate to Declan's Go Fund Me campaign at https://bit.ly/3kD6Pq9

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 2 March 2021 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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