'Victimised whistleblowers' offers a rare account of safety campaigning from a workers representative viewpoint. It focuses around two 'biographical' accounts (by Laurie Holden and myself) about our time as Train Drivers' Health and Safety Representatives in the period following rail privatisation. We were both victimised by our employers for our attempts to defend our members' safety, health and welfare at work. In our articles we question the effectiveness of safety legislation and the HMRI (Her Majesty's Rail Inspectorate). We also look at the role that our own trades unions played in our campaigns. We hope that this booklet will be something other that a guide 'of how to get sacked,' but will serve as a useful contribution to the debate over train drivers' working hours, as well as to the wider issue of how to prevent the continued victimisation of trade union representatives.
The introduction is written by Greg Tucker; a former Train Drivers' Health and Safety Representative who was also unfairly dismissed because of his trade union activities (although he was successful in winning back his job). Greg has a wide experience of railway safety trade union issues, he was a member of the RMT National Executive Committee at the time that many of the problems that he, Laurie and myself write about arose. He is currently Secretary of the RMT Train Crew and Shunters' grade conference. Mike Merritt is an advice worker at the London Hazards Centre. In his article The Great Train Robbery he writes about the 'crime' of rail privatisation, and looks at the impact this has on workers' rights. Alex Gordon concludes the booklet; he is a current member of the RMT National Executive Committee and has been very involved with the union's campaign to bring back the operational safety role of the guard into the Railway Rule Book.
This booklet has been published to coincide with the National Hazards Conference in London at the London School of Economics in September 2003.
I would like to thank the National Hazards Campaign for having made a significant financial contribution towards the cost of printing this booklet. I would also like to thank the workers at the London Hazards Centre for their support and encouragement and Eve Barker for her help with the design of the booklet. Mistakes, if any - are of course are all mine.
| Victimised Whistleblowers
Secretary of the RMT TrainCrew and Shunters Conference
The great train robbery
London Hazards Centre.
RMT Train Drivers' Health and Safety Representative, Waterloo Depot - 1997 to 2000.
A fighting organisation
ASLEF Train Drivers' Health and Safety Representative at Charing Cross Depot - 1992 to 2000.
RMT Council of Executives, 2001-2003.
Glossary of Abbreviations
London Hazards Centre
Greater Manchester Hazards Centre
The Daily Hazard