Why I am striking


In this letter, I hope to give an insight into why train guards are striking and what we as guards actually do. My own parents think I ‘just clip tickets’, so I am facing an uphill struggle from the word go! We are not looking for more money, despite popular belief! And this letter does not seek to slander any particular company.

We are striking because some train companies are trying to remove the guard as being ‘safety critical’ on the train. There is a lot of clever spin around the difference between ‘safety critical’ and ‘safety trained’. At a lot of train companies in the UK, the guard is ‘safety critical’. This means that we are trained for three months and regularly reassessed in order to get our conductor license.

We safely dispatch trains, ensuring doors are closed, no one is trapped/could be trapped, the signal is the right colour, it’s the right time plus a lot more.

Also, we provide customer service: everything from printing journey timetables to selling and checking tickets to helping disabled passengers and getting buggies/bikes on/off.

And we do everything else in between; from working various types of trains, fixing faults, having good route knowledge, knowing where/when/how to evacuate in an emergency and undertaking security checks for anything out of the ordinary.


Demotion to ‘safety trained’ removes a lot of our current role, including train dispatching. It means companies can run as many trains as they like without a guard on. This is also known as Driver-Only Operation (DOO). New trains currently being built will have cameras on platforms or in the front cab. This means the driver will be able to dispatch a train on their own, or possibly with a dispatcher at larger stations.

But this letter is not an attack on our drivers. There are statistics and reports available online from various safety organisations and the RMT, in addition to our own view, that show it isn’t safe to dispatch a train without a guard on. We do this job every day. And we fully believe you need two sets of eyes to dispatch a train. Not one person looking at small CCTV screens, even if it is ‘new technology.’

Currently when we dispatch, we view the train/platform and ensure no one is trapped in doors etc. The guard stops the train in emergency if someone is in danger. For example, if someone runs for the train, loses their footing and then becomes trapped. Who is going to be driving the train forward when the driver is checking the screens, or vice versa?

We have seen what has happened at certain companies. So, we believe removing us as ‘safety critical’ is the start of a slippery slope to DOO, with only one member of staff on board each train. This would then remove all the customer service elements too, and assisting disabled passengers. I know people argue DOO works fine in London and commuter areas. But my response to that is that rural stations, of which there are a lot outside the capital, don’t usually have staff.


In London, if someone is threatening on a train it is only about two minutes to the next stop. And there will be police there already when you arrive. But across a lot of the country, the guard is the deterrent for a lot of anti-social, and all sorts of behaviour. As I’ve seen as a guard when someone was threatening towards a woman travelling alone, what were her choices? Get off the train at the next rural, partially lit station alone, panicked? Or maybe try and find a friendly stranger to help? That friendly stranger who should always be on the train in this case was the guard. I removed her from that situation, called the police and made sure she got home safely. This is not uncommon. These people are our daughters/brothers/grandparents.

At these remote stations with no staff there is also no one to help assist a disabled passenger on and off. Accessibility for all passengers is a big issue that we feel strongly about. Along my routes, there are people who rely on us getting the ramp out and assisting them at their station. It’s part of their way of life. They don’t want to pre-book 24 hours in advance if they need to pop to the next town to buy nappies. And why should they? Why can’t all passengers just be able to turn up at a station and travel spontaneously if they want to?

We know nothing stands still forever, but why should new trains mean passenger safety moves backwards? And don’t get me started on the fantastic wonderland that could potentially be, if we had new trains AND guards AND funding for much needed network improvements. But that’s for another day.


I don’t speak for everyone, but most of us love our jobs! We love meeting new people every day and having conversations with interesting strangers at 2 o’clock on a Thursday afternoon about their lives! We like helping people get their bags off the train – I always imagine every elderly passenger is my own Nan! Despite the fact it makes us groan in our heads sometimes (just being honest) we do still try and smile. Even when we tell the 20th person in two minutes that yes, this is the xx:xx train to x.

I for one, don’t enjoy leaving people on the platform who have run late for a train. We see great sunsets from the back cab and cracking sunrises at 4am when everyone is asleep. We have regular passengers who will always say hello. And we have not so chirpy passengers who we do our best to try and explain delays to. We’ve grown up waving at trains ourselves, and now take great delight in waving to small children from the train as we pass, or handing out stickers and seeing their faces light up.


We want people on the trains. Real humans with empathy and logic and compassion. We know we have rules to follow that can be unpopular, like I’m sure you do in your workplace. But, and I may be mocked for getting a little too deep here, I want more people in my everyday life. Not more machines or automated voices!

The railway is quite a unique place to work. We often joke a lot of us are misfits who wouldn’t really fit in anywhere else. Most of you might be surprised to know a lot of ex-forces people work as guards and drivers. I don’t know the exact figures but for the ex-forces men and women I know on the railway, this place was a home for them and their skills. And like most of us, they hoped if they worked hard they would have a job for life on the railway if they wanted it.

So, I hope you have a little insight now into why most of us are striking. And it may answer some questions for you about what we do and why we are trying to carry on doing it.

See you soon, on the trains – hopefully.

Re-think needed on workplace cancers, says TUC

A plan to reduce occupational cancer rates in Europe misses both the point and many of the causes, the TUC has said. The trade union body estimates over 70 per cent of cancer cases are caused by exposures at work not covered by the European carcinogens directive, and adds even where there are control limits proposed these are often ‘completely inadequate’. TUC head of safety Hugh Robertson says solar radiation is the biggest single cause of occupational cancers and these are usually easily prevented, but aren’t on Europe’s list. Shiftwork, diesel exhaust, radon and passive smoking are other notable absentees. For silica, he says, the proposed occupational exposure limit for the lung carcinogen “will mean that 2.5 per cent of those exposed at that level will develop silicosis after 15 years. How can anyone think that that is acceptable?” According to Robertson: “The Commission needs a proper strategy for dealing with cancers based on the principle that no workers should be exposed to carcinogens because of their work. They should put much more emphasis on removal and substitution, rather than just maximum exposure limits.” He adds: “Of course it is not just the regulations that need to be sorted out, it is also enforcement. At present, employers are meant to remove carcinogens where practical and, if they cannot prevent exposure though other means regardless of whether there is an exposure limit, but most employers reckon that if they are operating at below the maximum limit that is enough, and regulators seem to accept that.”

Bin strike continues to defend safety role


Unite has expressed dismay after Birmingham city council reneged on a deal that had restored ‘grade 3’ jobs on refuse wagons and had led to the suspension of a seven-week bin strike . The grade 3 workers include those responsible for safety at the rear of the refuse vehicles. Bin workers resumed the strike last week after the deal fell apart when the council said it was issuing redundancy notices to some workers on this grade. Unite described the news contained in a letter from the council’s interim chief executive as ‘deeply provocative’. Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “The last thing refuse workers want to do is resume industrial action and see piles of rubbish accumulating on Birmingham’s streets. This is their city too. Our members want to focus on delivering a safe efficient service to people of Birmingham.” He added: “Unite calls on the council to come to its senses and withdraw these redundancy notices to avoid the disruption of industrial action.” Concerns in the US over the vehicle safety risks to refuse workers led to a spate of new laws. Last year, New York State become the latest in the US to introduce a ‘slow down’ law to protect garbage workers. Slow down laws had already been introduced in 11 other states over the last decade in response to distracted driving that has led to sometimes fatal incidents for refuse collection workers.

Bins strike victory protects ‘vital’ safety role


Unite has said last week’s victory in the long running Birmingham bins dispute has protected a vital safety role. The union said that the city council had accepted the refuse workers’ case and restored the grade 3 jobs, which are responsible for safety at the rear of the refuse vehicles, leading to the suspension of the industrial action. Unite said the union and the city council would hold further talks at the conciliation service Acas to resolve outstanding issues. Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “We are very pleased that we have reached the stage where we can suspend the industrial action while we hold further talks about the future of the refuse service.” He added: “The council has addressed our members’ concerns, including the safeguarding of the grade 3 post that is vital to the safety at the rear of the refuse vehicles. Unite also welcomes the fact that our suspended rep is now returning to work.” The vehicle safety risks to the public and refuse workers has led to the introduction of specific new laws in in the US. Last year, New York State become the latest in the US to introduce a ‘slow down’ law to protect garbage workers. Slow down laws had already been introduced in 11 other states over the last decade in response to distracted driving that has led to sometimes fatal incidents for refuse collection workers.

Massive win’ for UNISON on ‘unlawful’ tribunal fees

Fees for those bringing employment tribunal claims have been ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court, following a long running legal challenge by the public service UNISON.  The government will now have to repay up to £32m to claimants. It introduced the fees in 2013, saying the measure was intended to reduce the number of malicious and weak cases, but that led to a 79 per cent reduction over three years. Victimisation for raising safety concerns fell into the highest cost band, with a £1,200 fee to take a case. UNISON argued that the fees denied workers access to justice. In a ruling delivered on 26 July, the Supreme Court also found fees were indirectly discriminatory to women. It said the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced the fees. UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Today’s Supreme Court ruling is the most significant judicial intervention in the history of British employment law. This result is a massive win for our union and a massive win for all workers, whether they’re UNISON members or not. Working people who need protection the most – low-paid workers, the vulnerable and those treated poorly by their employers –  were denied access to justice by employment tribunal fees.” He added the ruling by the country’s top court “should bring to an end the cruel employment tribunal fees regime, and ensure that no-one else is ever forced to pay crippling fees just to access basic justice. But it is also a reminder of the importance of trade unions in fighting for all of our rights, and the importance of a legal system that allows us to stand with our members, and win for our members.” TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Too many low-paid workers couldn’t afford to uphold their rights at work, even when they’ve faced harassment or have been sacked unfairly. Tribunal fees have been a bonanza for bad bosses, giving them free rein to mistreat staff. Any fees paid so far should be refunded as soon as possible.”

the Grenfell fire investigation

Metropolitan Police Headquarters, New Scotland Yard,  8-10 Broadway, London, SW1H 0BG.

Hazards Campaign open letter to Commander Stuart Cundy in charge of the Grenfell fire investigation

Dear Commander Cundy,

The police investigation must investigate the Prime Ministers and ministers whose behaviour, actions and wilful disregard of warnings about the deadly consequences of their deregulation fetish that lead to decisions which caused the Grenfell fire.

We are pleased to hear you confirm that the starting point for your investigation into the Grenfell Tower investigation is ‘80 deaths by manslaughter.’  It is clear now that the overall model of regulation and enforcement of fire safety in buildings lies within a wider political context of government deregulatory initiatives that have undermined criminal health and safety law over a long period, and specifically accelerated since 2010.  Therefore we seek assurance that your investigation will look not only at all those individuals, companies and organisations directly involved in Grenfell Tower, but will examine the wider and crucial role of the ministers and their advisers on the deregulation of all types of health and safety law, enforcement and scrutiny, which form the environment in which the decisions that led to the Grenfell disaster took place.  This is a disaster which was foretold, that should never have happened and would not have done if the regulation and enforcement framework had been properly functioning to protect lives rather than serve business interests first.

Your investigation must seek to establish responsibility and culpability for this terrible tragedy that has taken many lives and damaged many more.  It seems clear that Prime Ministers’ setting deregulatory agendas in their manifestos, their speeches and their government programmes, plus Ministers carrying out those programmes, plus those specifically responsible for Housing and Fire Safety must be interviewed under caution.  Ministers who promised but failed to review the Building Regulations after the Laknal fire and failed to act after repeated warnings of potential disaster from fire experts and many letters from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fire Safety and Rescue,  about the use of materials in high rise buildings without adequate safe guards in all aspects of their use, from specification, to installation to subsequent building, fire approvals and inspections, must be investigated.

We specifically seek assurance that this would include interviewing under caution ex Prime Minster David Cameron who repeatedly and vociferously ‘waged war’ on health and safety as ‘a monster’, ‘an albatross’, a ‘burden on business’ and which he vowed in his new year’s resolution of 2012 to ‘Kill off health and safety culture for good’   David Cameron set the ‘lite-touch’ political context in which regulations were viewed and policed.  Slashing the Health and Safety Executive, HSE, budget by a massive 33% in 2011 set the tone for the neutering of official policing of safety standards by the coalition government  . He established a programme of biased health and safety reviews, ‘Red Tape’ cuts, scrapping laws and dumbing down of guidance, plus slashing the budgets,  and restricting the enforcement activities of the HSE and the Local Authorities, while establishing business-oriented committees, advisory groups and programmes under the ‘Better Regulation’ agenda.

Others who must be interviewed under caution should include Prime Minister Theresa May who reaffirmed this deregulatory policy in 2016 and 2017, as ‘Cutting Red Tape’. and all ministers responsible for decisions on cutting health and safety in favour of reducing burdens on business, including, but not exclusively, ministers at the DWP, the DCLG, and those responsible for the Red Tape Challenge since 2010, those in charge of negotiating Brexit, plus any others who have made government sanctioned attacks on health and safety regulation and enforcement.  Of particular note is Oliver Letwin chairing a meeting under Brexit and the Red Tape Challenge on the deregulation of health and safety law for construction materials on the very day of the Grenfell Fire.

You are reported as stating that the criminal investigation would bring whoever is to blame to justice: “You can’t listen to the accounts of the survivors, the families, and those that lost loved ones, and listen to the 999 calls, like our investigation has done, and not want to hold people to account for a fire that should not have happened.”  We are pleased to hear this and insist that to honour this commitment, and to prevent other disasters, requires investigating and holding to account all those responsible for creating the deregulated health and safety environment including David Cameron and Theresa May and their ministers that have championed this model of corporate and governmental institutional neglect.

We will be pleased to provide more information on health and safety deregulation to your investigation team

Yours sincerely

Hilda Palmer, Acting Chair Hazards Campaign

June 11 – Davis Day

When Thomas Davis and his wife Annis and their family from Pillowell in the Forest of Dean decided to emigrate to Canada in 1890 they could not have known that their choice would have tragic consequences or that their personal tragedy would be remembered in Canada to this day. One of their boys, Thomas, would be killed in one of the worst mining disasters in Canadian mining history and another, William, would be shot dead by the police in one of the most violent strikes in Canadian labour history. In commemoration of William Davis’ sacrifice, the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) designated the day in his honour, with miners in Nova Scotia vowing to never work on “Davis Day” ever again. His memory continues to be celebrated within the Canadian labour movement.

William Davis was born in Pillowell on 3 June 1887, the son of Thomas Davis, a miner, and his wife Annis Duffy who married in Parkend in 1865. The family also included seven children. These were, Sarah, Elizabeth,  James, Alice, Thomas, Clemantina, and Bertha. They all emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1890 where there were opportunities to gain work in the rapidly developing Canadian coal mines. They settled in Springfield and the men and boys started work in the mines. Another daughter, Beatrice was born in 1896. However, on 21 February 1891, just a year after they arrived, tragedy struck when Thomas, aged 14, was killed, at the Springhill Mine Explosion. The disaster occurred when a fire, caused by an accumulation of coal dust, swept through the mine killing 125 miners and injuring dozens more leaving behind 57 widows and 169 fatherless children. Some of the dead were between 10 to 13 years old. The scale of the disaster was unprecedented in Canadian mining history. One eyewitnesses  described the blast as being:

“preceded by a sudden gust of wind, which swept like a tornado through the dark passages, hurling   timbers and clouds of dust and flying missiles before it. This was followed in a few seconds by balls of  fire, large and small, and then came a solid body of fierce flame that filled the passages and literally roasted everything in its path.”

In the tunnels, the rescuers had to brave the threat of continuing fires and further explosions, as well as afterdamp which is a lethal mix of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen. Despite the shock of the accident, the mine returned to operations less than two weeks later.
When William Davis reached adulthood he gained work in the Cape Breton coalfields, also in Nova Scotia. In 1908, he was living in Dominion, Cape Breton where he married Myrtle McPherson who was born in Springhill. There was a long history of industrial unrest in the region. In 1876, 1882, 1904 and 1909 military forces had been sent to Cape Breton from the mainland to deal with disorder. However, after World War One, two new protagonists appeared on the scene. One was District 26 of the UMWA, representing 12,000 miners in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick which quickly became under the control of a number of fiery, articulate trade union militants. The other was the British Empire Steel Corporation (BESCO), the largest industrial consortium in Canada at the time. In the 1920s, there was a worldwide depression in the coal industry. As a result, between 1920 and 1925, BESCO had continually cut wages and this combined with the deplorable conditions in the mines led to 58 strikes between 1920 and 1925. In one strike, in August 1921, the settlement reached was hardly suggestive of a lasting peace. The union President later commented:

“The wage schedule was accepted by miners under the muzzle of rifles, machine guns and gleaming bayonets with further threatened invasions of troops and marines, with warships  standing to. The miners, facing hunger, their Dominion and Provincial governments lined up with  BESCO. . . were forced to accept the proposals.”

In March of 1925, Cape Breton coal miners were receiving $3.65 in daily wages and had been working part-time for more than three years. They burned company coal to heat company houses illuminated by company electricity. Their families drank company water, were indebted to the company store and were financially destitute. Local clergy spoke of children clothed in flour sacks and dying of starvation from the infamous “four cent meal”.

At the end of February, strikes flared when BESCO announced plans to further cut wages. Initially the strike affected only a few pits but BESCO inflamed the situation more when it refused credit to unemployed miners at its company stores and further reduced days of work at the collieries a full scale strike was inevitable. BESCO continued to refuse to concede to UMWA demands to maintain existing wage levels and insisted that it could not run the mines at a profit unless wages were reduced. BESCO was controlled by President Roy M. Wolvin and Vice-President J.E. McLurg who defended these conditions by stating:

“Coal must be produced cheaper in Cape Breton, poor market conditions and increasing competition  make this an absolute necessity. If the miners require more work, then the United Mine Workers of  America District 26 Executive must recommend acceptance of a 20% wage reduction.”

On 6 March 1925, the UMWA called out its 12,000 members in the region. UMWA strategist, J.S. McLachlan, argued a 100% strike was necessary to do battle with BESCO and called for the removal of all maintenance men from the collieries. He stated that if the company would not negotiate an end to this deprivation and hunger, the mines would slowly fill with floodwater and die. BESCO immediately cut off the sale of coal to miners houses and mounted a vigorous public relations campaign to blame the miners for their own predicament. Andrew Merkel, a reporter with the Canadian Press interviewed J. E. McLurg, then Vice-President of BESCO. In describing the strike, McLurg boasted to Merkel:

” Poker game, nothing, we hold all the cards. Things are getting better every day they stay out. Let    them stay out two months or six months, it matters not, eventually they will have to come to us. They can’t stand the gaff.”

The UMWA lobbied for intervention from the Liberal Provincial and Federal governments to no avail. The strikers picketed the pits to prevent blackleg maintenance men entering the pits to operate the pumping systems with a view of exerting pressure on BESCO to negotiate with the union. In early May, strikers smashed  a pumping system for three of the pits with sledge hammers leading to the flooding of the pits. In early June, about twenty pickets were arrested on the picket line. On June 3, 1925, the UMWA withdrew the last maintenance men from BESCO’s power plant at Waterford Lake. However, BESCO responded by turning off water, power and food supplies to New Waterford forcing the strikers and their families into near starvation. This action left the hospital filled with extremely sick children without power or water. For more than a week the town mayor, P.G. Muise, literally begged company officials to restore electricity and water to his townspeople. BESCO ignored his requests.

At this time, William Davis and his wife had 9 children and another one on the way. Davis was a skilled worker and had become active in his union. Thirty thousand men, women and children were now dependent on relief.

On June 11th, the UMWA called a meeting which was attended by miners from Glace Bay, Dominion, Sydney Mines and New Waterford. The union leaders agreed to send messages to both the Federal and Provincial Governments demanding they force the company to restore power, water and food supplies to the townspeople. Later in the day, drunken company police decided that they would teach the people a lesson and charged down Plummer Avenue on horseback, beating all who stood in their path. They rode through the schoolyards, knocking down innocent children while joking that the miners were at home hiding under their beds. At this time, company police were little more than hired thugs. It was the last straw. The miners and their families had little choice but to take the matter into their own hands.

On 14th June, 3,000 miners and wives marched to the company’s power facilities outside New Waterford, in an attempt to restore power and water. When the march approached the power station they were confronted by mounted company police who charged through the crowd at the same time firing over 300 shots. William Davis was shot dead and many other miners were injured.

The miners ran into the surrounding woods as if they were taking flight but in fact were manoeuvring behind the police, surrounding them and blocking them from returning to the power plant.  As the fighting continued the police were knocked off their horses and attacked. The police fled in every direction, pursued by miners and their families. As a result, the miners were able to get into the power plant to switch on the power to the town. They then cut the electricity supply to the pits bringing to a halt the pumping operations. The miners dragged the beaten and captured policemen back to New Waterford and took control of the town helping themselves to food from the company shops. The police were then held on the street, where according to the Halifax Herald, the women “belaboured them with their fists and sticks and other weapons”. The police were then taken to the town jail for their own protection and later sent to Halifax to avoid being lynched. Although a victory was won, the casualties were great. One man’s treatment by the police resulted in a broken back, another was shot in the arm, one was shot in the stomach and 22 policemen and 30 miners were injured. William Davis was dead. The next day’s Sydney Post described the event as:

” the result of five months of government inaction, corporation obstinacy, and the accumulated   desperation of hungry men….”

In the weeks following the shooting, company facilities were looted and vandalized, despite the deployment of the provincial police force and 2,000 soldiers in what remains Canada’s second-largest military deployment for an internal conflict (after the Northwest Rebellion). Practically all the available troops from Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario were sent to the scene. The authorities were particularly concerned about reports that the workers were in possession of a machine gun and that while there was no ammunition, a man had apparently left for Sydney to pick up extra munitions. The violence continued in spite of the presence of the military who were unable to take full control of the town. By  20 June, 175 warrants were issued for the arrest of persons on various charges of rioting and looting. The destruction was not wanton as only BESCO property was targeted. Most of the company stores were looted and several were burned to the ground. A similar fate befell BESCO warehouses, a coal bankhead, and two antiquated wash houses about which the miners had complained for years. In all, there were twenty-two fires, the last occurring on 30 June. Damages were between 500,000 and 1,000,000 dollars.

In early August, the government came up with a set of proposals as a basis for a temporary agreement including an interim contract based on 1922 wages and 1924 working terms. Also, it recommended a commission of  enquiry into the coal industry in the province with the brief of providing a long term solution. Both parties agreed to these terms and a the majority of the miners voted for a return to work. This represented a significant victory for the miners. Soon, quiet returned and, on 15 August, the troops departed. In the end, the only person   charged as a result of the disturbances was the policeman accused of killing Davis and he was acquitted. After a brief renewal of looting at BESCO company stores in January 1926, itself an indication of their desperation, the miners paused to digest the recommendations of the Commission. They had to swallow the original wage-cut.

Over 5,000 people attended Davis’ funeral. In commemoration of his sacrifice, the UMWA designated the day in his honour, with miners in Nova Scotia vowing to never work on “Davis Day” ever again. For the remainder of the 20th century, the pledge of never working on June 11 was maintained and Davis Day was observed as a holiday in the Canadian mining communities. Since the closure of Nova Scotia’s last coal mine in November 2001, Davis Day has evolved to become a remembrance day for all workers killed in mines in the province.

Ian Wright (Bristol Hazards Group)






Asbestos review shows ‘shocking’ official complacency

An official review of how the UK’s workplace asbestos laws are operating has exposed the ‘shocking complacency’ of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the TUC has said. Hugh Robertson, the union body’s head of safety, is critical of a proposal to reduce the frequency of the legally required medical examinations of those undertaking the highest risk ‘licensed’ work from every two to three years, which he says ‘seems totally irresponsible.’ He adds that he ‘was staggered by the level of complacency that there is throughout the review.’ A key concern is the repeated statement in the HSE document that the 5,000 UK deaths a year linked to asbestos are the result of past exposures when the carcinogen was “less well-regulated than today”. Robertson is also concerned that HSE fails to acknowledge that self-reporting of asbestos exposures can be misleading, as workers today are no longer working directly with asbestos so are far less likely to be aware of their exposures. While the paper concludes retaining the regulations is justified, “nowhere did the paper look at the possible effect of improving controls,” he says. “We did not get any calculations of the effect on death rates if the government were to require employers to remove the millions of tons of asbestos that is still in place.” He notes asbestos can be found in an estimated half a million workplaces and around a million homes. “Over 50,000 people have died in the UK from mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, several tens of thousands more have died from lung cancer or other asbestos-related diseases. Tens of thousands more will die because of exposure that they have already had,” Robertson notes. “How many more will die over and above that will depend on what we do now. The fact that government and regulators see the status quo as the best option is a damning indictment of our health and safety system.”

TUC Stronger Unions blog. Post implementation review of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, HSE, 2017.

International Workers’ Memorial Day

International Workers’ Memorial Day is an annual trade union commemoration of those that have lost their lives at or as a result of work. It is marked on 28th April each year and special events to remember the fallen take place around the world, including in Bristol. This year we are hosting a public meeting to reflect on the relationship between business, the state and the labour movement. We have guest speakers talking about the blacklisting of trade union safety reps and the threat to the labour movement from state surveillance and infiltration.

6.30-8.30pm, Thursday 27th April 2017, CWU Offices, 20 Church Rd, Lawrence Hill, Bristol, BS5 9JA

For tickets or further details contact us at bristolhazards@gmail.com

A poster publicising the event can be found here: Behave