Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2010

Doncaster - Jarvis's vicious sackings...

Sacked Jarvis worker BILL RAWCLIFFE, rail union RMT York and District branch secretary, convenor for Jarvis Fast Track and a TUSC general election candidate, spoke to Elaine Brunskill

BILL TOLD me he was watching Sky News on 25 March when it was announced that Jarvis had gone into voluntary administration. "Lads started asking me what was going on. You can imagine - my phone was going non-stop."

Bill was told Deloitte had been appointed as administrators. When asked what that meant and would people get paid, no watertight guarantees were given. But workers were being advised to keep working.

"I pointed out that it was totally unsatisfactory that staff were working trackside, with trains hurtling past at 120mph, whilst in a state of shock, confusion and worry. Their minds were on what their future was. The Jarvis HR guy completely agreed with me, but said it wasn't in his power to do this. Deloitte would be doing this - but we had no contact with them."

The following day Bill again tried to get guarantees about workers' wages. By 2pm there was a phone call from HR giving assurances that everyone would be paid and everyone should work as normal. But within an hour he received another call saying all work for the weekend had been cancelled.

It wasn't until Tuesday that the union was invited to 'pop in' to speak to a senior partner from Deloitte. The meeting lasted around 15 minutes: "Very polite, but then we were shown the door". At the meeting the administrators said they wanted Network Rail to pay upfront for work done, and a guarantee for staff wages for the coming four weeks. Bill said: "We were told if Network Rail rejected this, then compulsory redundancies would be the most likely outcome."

On Wednesday around 50 Jarvis workers were waiting outside the office. Bill confronted Deloitte, demanding a statement. Eventually he was given a five minute meeting with them, where he was told that all the rail staff would be sent redundancy notices, and there was no money available to Deloitte.

Rebuff from MPs

"Everyone was in a state of shock. We had no job, no back pay. Initially Deloitte said they would try and get us 50% of what we were owed - which they didn't. There was just a numb silence. We couldn't believe it - the work was still there."

Bill described how news networks filmed the office workers, with all their personal belongings in cardboard boxes, leaving the building - you could see they were dumbfounded. "The lads weren't even allowed into the depot to empty their lockers."

Approaches were made to MPs, and to transport secretary Lord Adonis, asking that the government intervene, utilising the Railways Protected Companies act. This would have protected Jarvis workers' jobs, wages and pensions. These approaches were rebuffed.

Jarvis workers have now learned that Network Rail intend to carve up the Jarvis contracts between Babcock Rail, Balfour Beatty, and Amey/Colas. These companies are all arguing that the workers were made redundant before they were awarded contracts, so their wages, terms and conditions are not protected.

This will have a devastating impact on workers, who now face an uncertain future. "One of the lads in my gang is just starting out. He's got a young child, a 900 a month mortgage - no job, no money. But the work's still there, we should still be doing it. It is so distressing."

Former Jarvis workers who have been going for interviews, to sign on with agencies to do the work they used to have, are being told they have to register and pay a fee for a drugs and alcohol test, pay for overalls, and sign a disclaimer saying they won't request travel time.

The disclaimer will mean they can be sent anywhere in the country to do a 12 hour shift. They could be travelling for hours before doing a 12 hour shift. Bill pointed out: "This is courting disaster. When the Clapham disaster happened, fatigue was a major factor."

...and workers' fightback!

WHILE BILL Rawcliffe was being interviewed about the atrocious way Jarvis workers had been thrown on the scrapheap, he received a phone call from his local MP Ed Miliband. Miliband seems rattled by the announcement that Bill is standing against him, as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate for Doncaster North in the general election.

In a heated discussion, Bill invited Ed Miliband along to the next day's demo against the job losses - he declined! Bill explained to Miliband: "I'm 53, I've worked on the railways since I was 15. Now I've got no job, no pay."

Reason to stand

He went on to say: "Labour can go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but you say you're powerless with Network Rail - That's enough reason to stand!"

Bill also told us: "When I went to the Jobcentre they asked if I was actively seeking employment. I told them I was standing as an MP. The women just looked at me, wouldn't write that down - it seems that being an MP isn't a proper job in their eyes."

Bill said that sacked Jarvis workers were being made to feel like criminals for being unemployed - but MPs are doing "nowt". He added that if he is elected to parliament: "All I'll take is the same pay as I got as a Jarvis worker".

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 21 April 2010:

Stop these savage cuts: support the socialist alternative

Youth fight for jobs

Young people facing a fight for their future

National Union of Students conference: Campaign needed against fees and cuts

Socialist Party editorial

Left candidates excluded from media

LibDem Surge

Big business as usual for Liberal Democrats

TV debate - Party leaders compete for the same policies


Volcanic eruption brings travel chaos: Planned and integrated transport system vital

Planes, trains and automobiles

Socialist Party news and analysis

Cameron turns back clock on women's rights

Banks use microloans to fleece poor

Fast news

Socialist Party election campaign

Doncaster - Jarvis's vicious sackings and workers' fightback

Portsmouth North: "An ordinary guy to represent ordinary workers"

Lewisham councillors' record

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Coventry: Standing up for public services

Colne Valley / Huddersfield: Kirklees' only fighting councillor

Spelthorne: "The trade union candidate guy"

A chance to put your questions to your local Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates.


Why the BNP offers no way forward for working class people

Anti-BNP protest

International socialist news and analysis

Progressive Workers Federation of Pakistan founded

Sri Lanka parliamentary elections: Rajapaksa's clan consolidates its rule

Socialist Party features

National Care Service - fact or fiction?

1936 - A play about the Olympics

Socialist Party workplace news

Vote to boycott SATs

Civil service dispute continues

Fighting cuts at Coventry council

Strike ballot at Manchester Metropolitan University

Unison health conference

Laundry workers fight closure

Dover trade unions against privatisation

National Shop Stewards Network 2010 conference:


Home   |   The Socialist 21 April 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleHated Blairite mayor ousted: now fight for a no-cuts Newham!

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleTUSC plans to stand on Waltham Forest anti-monster block platform

triangleOutrageous sentence for TUSC agent in 'misleading electors' court case

triangleTUSC statement on sentencing of Derby TUSC agent


triangleMary Jackson: funeral and memorial meeting

triangleYorkshire Socialist Party regional conference

triangleDefend Louise Harrison - save Yorkshire women's services!

triangleStop the cuts - save our vital services


triangleRMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

triangleRMT rail members buoyed by coordinated action

triangleStrike against driver-only operation on five rail networks


triangleWe feel that we will win - a striker speaks

triangleHull workers united against bosses


triangleItalian elections create huge political shake-up


triangleNHS pay: Reject the Tories' divide and rule offer


triangleFor a fighting, democratic Labour Party

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleCampaigners continue to demand Chorley A&E is fully reopened

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Homes for All - Not billionaire profit!



School strikes against academy management



Hands Off HRI campaign granted judicial review



Refugee Rights to be launched in Manchester



Over 1,000 on Newcastle NHS march


Socialist Party

Why I joined: 'The Socialist Party is at the forefront of defending Corbyn's anti-austerity leadership'


Socialist Party

Past fund-raising campaigns show dedication to the fight for socialism


May Day

Ideas matter: help us fight to win with May Day greetings



Refugees march against racism and to demand rights



Unions condemn 'culture of bullying' at Merseyside hospital



Hull college workers ballot for action against mass redundancies



Strikers and parents rally again in Newham against academies



Hinkley workers win back unpaid wages after sit-in protest



UCU strike: staff and students unite to continue pensions fight after magnificent 14 days of action



Walkout from undercover policing inquiry

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018