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.

Chris Newby

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

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.
[email protected]

Send messages of support to: [email protected]

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.