Jarvis Worker, Bill Rawcliffe, Would Get Our Vote

April 10, 2010

Yesterday hundreds of people – including former Jarvis rail employees and their families, union reps and sympathetic locals – marched through Doncaster (and through the Continental Market – which smelt gorgeous by the way ;-)) to the Mansion House.

A rally was held on the steps and speakers described how the former Jarvis Workers had become the victims of Network Rail’s wider plans to drive down wages and maximise profits by de-valuing,  de-skilling, demoralising (and potentially de-unionising) the labour force and offering ‘bargain basement’ jobs – a process which ultimately puts the travelling public at risk. With the three main political parties talking about a High Speed Rail Link the question was asked “Who’s going to build it? George Stephenson?!?”

Interestingly for residents of North Doncaster (ourselves included) the RMT also threw down the gauntlet to Ed Miliband. In solidarity with the former Vestas wind turbine workers – who’s own jobs could have been saved with government intervention – the RMT said that they will cover costs to stand a candidate, Bill Rawcliffe from York, in North Doncaster if Ed did not come to the aid of  former Jarvis Workers. Ed could have helped the Vestas employees but simply “cried crocodile tears and just shrugged his shoulders” saying that the government could not intervene to nationalise industries – even though the Vestas workers were in an industry that is vital to Ed’s ministerial remit of ‘Energy & Climate Change’.

But Ed cannot use that (frankly false…) excuse this time. It would appear that under the terms of the Railways Act Jarvis is a protected industry, which means that the government, if it so wishes, can be the railway guarantor and protect the jobs, wages and pensions of the Jarvis workers.

From the Mansion House the protest marched to the Trades & Labour Club (with the wonderful sight of banners and placards ascending the rear Frenchgate Centre escalator) where the workers got a chance to question Doncaster MP and Minister for Yorkshire, Rosie Winterton. Unlike Ed, Rosie stepped forward when she heard about the collapse of Jarvis Rail, and unlike Ed she’s been working behind the scenes to try and help in any way she can.

But by far the most inspiring person in the room was the prospective candidate for Doncaster North, Bill Rawcliffe. Here was a gem of a man who was not only a powerful speaker, but who’s ‘cigarette packet’ maths put Alistair Darling to shame (Bill even hinted that he should be given a position in the treasury;-)). Unfortunately Mr Rawcliffe had to leave the meeting early (after receiving a standing ovation) to attend a Jobseekers interview in York (which, he pointed out, was another total farce).

From what we saw of Bill we can honestly say that he would make a dynamic and trustworthy MP for our region. We’re no fans of politicians, but this man would get our vote any day of the week.

Bill Rawcliffe - he should be our MP.

5 Responses to “Jarvis Worker, Bill Rawcliffe, Would Get Our Vote”

  1. B mckenna said

    I have emailed David milliband ,but still waiting for reply,I think I be a long time wating..good luck Billy you have my support …..felt sick today when I heard the board of network rail applauded our demise ….Brian McKenna ..ex trackman of Jarvis rail

  2. […] before and our mates the Barnsdale Brigade reported on last week’s event in Doncaster here. To some this may seem like an uphill struggle because Jarvis Rail has already gone into […]

  3. […] campaign before and our mates the Barnsdale Brigade reported on last week’s event in Doncaster here. To some this may seem like an uphill struggle because Jarvis Rail has already gone into […]

  4. i have known billy 4 quite a lot of years if billy stood for mp e would get my vote

  5. […] official, Bill Rawcliffe, the RMT official from York we talked about here, IS to stand in North […]

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