Our Ref B/4/1

19th March 2021


Dear Colleagues,


I write further to my letter dated the 10th March 2021 with regards to the case of your local representative Declan Clune, who had been dismissed for reporting concerns around a bridge being struck by vehicles to Network Rail.

At Brother Clune’s appeal hearing the company upheld their earlier decision of dismissal for bringing the company into disrepute. No evidence has been forthcoming to explain what the loud banging noise has been when buses have passed under the bridge in question. Bluestar have denied that they failed to adhere to their own procedure and decided that Declan, in reporting the issue to Network Rail, could have influenced their opportunities for further business.

Your National Executive Committee has considered the matter and reaffirmed the union’s commitment to supporting and campaigning for your Branch Secretary and Representative Brother Clune’s reinstatement by Bluestar. Your NEC has made clear that it considers this matter to be an attack on the foundation of our union structure and on our representatives who come forward to ensure members receive the best possible advice, support and help at work. As workplace representatives selflessly come to the aid of members without a second thought it is every member’s responsibility to come to theirs when attacked.

Your NEC has instructed that Bluestar are notified that we are now in dispute with them on this matter and that members will be balloted in due course. A Director’s Review of the matter is also being sought. Our concerns over the reporting of safety issues will be raised with Network Rail, the Office of Rail and Road, Traffic Commissioner, HSE and relevant local authorities.

The Southampton District Bus & Coach Branch is supported in the campaign initiatives seeking Declan’s reinstatement. A joint online rally is being held at 19:00 on 24th March 2021 and members are urged to participate. Full details are available at the following link: Trade Unionists Under Attack, Solidarity Meeting!

The rally will take place via Zoom at 19:00 on 24th March 2021 and the joining instructions are:

Meeting link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7645352620
Meeting ID: 764 535 2620
Passcode: STUC2020

I trust this keeps you fully advised and I will update you on all further developments.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary