24TH APRIL 1998
24 year old Simon Jones is killed on his first day as a casual worker at Euromin's Shoreham dock, his head crushed by the grab of a crane.
was taking a year out from Sussex University when he became another victim of the casual labour economy.
The harassment Simon got from the dole made him take any job on offer
for fear of having his benefit stopped. Simon
got the job unloading a ship at Euromin's dock despite having no training or experience in this dangerous and skilled work through the employment agency Personnel Selection, who should
by law have checked that the job was safe for him. They didn't.
Soon after Simon's death his friends and family set up the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign to fight for the truth about Simon's death to be revealed and to challenge the profits-before-people
set up that killed him. From
the beginning, the campaign was
committed to direct action to ensure that politicians don't get away
with brushing his death, like so many others, under the carpet.
wrote for SchNEWS, the direct action movement's weekly newsletter, and
was involved in supporting direct action in support of the Liverpool
dockers' strike against the casualisation of their port. He knew that
if you sit back and wait for politicians to put things right you
have a long wait. It was not a lesson that the campaign set up in his name was about to forget.
1ST SEPTEMBER 1998
On what would have been Simon's 25th birthday,
30 protesters occupy the Shoreham dock owned by Euromin where Simon
was killed. Two 80 foot towers are occupied and banners reading SIMON JONES RIP and CASUALISATION KILLS are unfurled. A wreath
is laid by the dockside and leaflets handed out to sympathetic dock
workers. Euromin are forced to close the docks, sending
all their casual workers home for the rest of the dayon full pay. The action is featured in The Big Issue and SchNEWS, the Brighton-based direct action newsletter Simon wrote for.
3rd September 1998 |3RD SEPTEMBER 1998
The Brighton office of Personnel Selection, the employment
agency that sent Simon to his death in Shoreham, is occupied. A banner reading
MURDERERS is hung from the window. Leaflets are handed out asking
Why should agencies like this take half your wages when you're doing
all the work?. The office is shut down for the day and again workers
are sent home on full pay.
20TH SEPTEMBER 1998
In response to the campaign's actions environment minister Michael Meacher admits on BBC
radio that the government's plans for protecting people at work are "Not
enough". Discussing the government's intention to spend an extra
£4.5m on health and safety inspectors,
Meacher says "I would be the first to say I think these significant
increases are not enough". He goes on to say that " I am absolutely
outraged that penalties that perhaps are as little as £2,500,
which I certainly believe are derisory and insulting, are sometimes
awarded in the case of death or serious injury".
20th September 1998
Department of Trade and Industry 3rd March 1999
3RD MARCH 1999 - SPEECH IN PARLIAMENT
Labour MP George Galloway gives a speech in the House of Commons about Simon Jones and the human cost of casualisation. He goes into
considerable detail concerning Simon's death, at one point stating that
the manager of Euromin's "contempt for the laws of health and safety
in this country, his greed and hunger for profit and his negligence
and carelessness slaughtered a young man just as clearly as if he had
pushed him off the dock with his own hands". The Simon Jones Memorial Campaign stages a protest
outside the House of Commons to coincide with the debate.
3RD MARCH 1999 - DIRECT ACTION SHUTS DOWN THE DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY
Afterwards, the campaign storms and occupies the Department
of Trade and Industry in protest at its failure to regulate employment agencies. The department's workers are evacuated from the building
and campaigners spend a couple of hours handing out leaflets before police end the protest.
28th April 1999 |WORKER'S MEMORIAL DAY 28TH APRIL 1999 SOUTHWARK BRIDGE BLOCKED BY CAMPIAGNERS
Over one year after Simon's
death and after countless letters have been written to the Health and
Safety Executive by Simon's parents, still nothing has been done. The
campaign visits the HSE headquarters next to Sothwark Bridge in central London and Simon's family lays a wreath
at the door. When the family's request to speak to the HSE's boss Jenny Bacon are refused
around thirty members of the campaign walk on to Southwark Bridge and blockade it for three hours. Eventually the family are allowed to meet Jenny Bacon..
20TH SEPTEMBER 1999 PERMISSION GIVEN TO SEEK JUDICIAL REVIEW
Deputy Judge Nigel Plemin QC gives the family
of Simon Jones permission to seek judicial review of
the Crown Prosecution Service's decision to refuse to bring manslaughter charges against
Euromin, the company Simon was working for when he was killed. Judge Plemin says
that there is "a clearly arguable case "as to whether the cause of
his death had been properly considered", and suggests that a prosecution
on the basis of a charge of "manslaughter through gross negligence" should have been allowed.
10TH MARCH 2000 COMEDIANS SUPPORT SIMON
Mark Thomas, Robert Newman and Jo Brand play a sell out gig for the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign at Hove Town Hall where the campaign film Not this time - the story of the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign is premiered.
Simon’s family win an historic victory against the Crown Prosecution
Service when two judges order the CPS to reconsider its decision
not to prosecute Euromin or its manager James Martell for manslaughter
in relation to Simon’s death. The judgement is the first successful
judicial review of a decision not to prosecute for manslaughter over
a workplace death in British legal history. In a strongly worded
judgement the two judges hearing the review describe the CPS as behaving
“irrationally”, “failing to address the relevant law” and adopting an
approach that iss “baffling” and “beggared belief”. The CPS are
instructed to review their decision not to prosecute “with dispatch”.
2000 CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE PICKETED
Nearly six months after the CPS have been told to prosecute Simon's killers, on what would have been Simon's 27th birthday, The Simon Jones Memorial Campaign pickets the Crown Prosecution Service in protest
at its continuing failure to prosecute anyone over Simon's death. The
police act in a very heavy handed manner, ironically arresting one protester for demanding they take action over Simon's death.
19TH DECEMBER 2000 CROWN PROSECUTION GIVE IN, AGREE TO PROSECUTE
More than two and a half years after Simon's death, the CPS
finally agrees to prosecute Euromin and James Martell for the manslaughter
of Simon Jones.
7TH NOVEMBER 2001 TRIAL STARTS
The trial of Euromin
and James Martell for the manslaughter of Simon Jones finally starts at the Old Bailey. On 29th November 2001 the jury clears general manager Richard James Martell and Euromin of
manslaughter by a majority verdict. The jury does find Euromin guilty of
relating to health and safety that led directly to Simon Jones' death
for which the company is fined £50,000. Following the trial Simon's brother Tim Jones and the campaign make statements.
Euromin Docks 3rd
3RD DECEMBER 2001
In reponse to the trial verdict thirty campaign supporters blockade the Shoreham dock where Simon
Jones was killed. Euromin's on-site offices are occupied and
a giant banner reading SIMON JONES - KILLED BY CASUALISATION
is hung from a dockside lighting rig.
car drivers peep their horns in support of the action. Leaflets are
given out to people in nearby houses explaining Euromin's role in Simon's
death. The police, warmed by hot drinks given to them by Euromin staff,
arrest three women and two men and charge them under the union bashing Trade Union and
Labour Relations Act 1992.
of the accused, Carly North, a local single mum and friend of Simon's,
says at the time, "My friend died and the company that killed him
gets off with a fine. I sit in their office for a couple of hours and
get charged as if I'm the criminal. It was when I was getting fingerprinted
and DNAed I thought, 'no, this isn't right'.
"I just wish
the police and the powers that be would put more effort and resources
into arresting managers who risk their employees lives without people
having to organise protests to make them. I'm no legal expert, but it
seems to me that that would make a lot more sense than charging people
who are trying to prevent more deaths."
Following a determined
campaign, charges against all five are eventually dropped.
3rd December 2001
arrested at Euromin's docks 3rd December 2001.All
charges were later dropped.
7TH DECEMBER 2001
The Brighton offices of Personnel
Selection, the employment agency that sent Simon to his death, are
picketed all day and leaflets handed out to people passing by. Members of the public show their support by peeping
their horns and many stop to ask about the campaign. A spokesperson for the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign says, "There is no doubt
that Euromin's practice of cutting corners on safety led directly to
Simon's death. Unfortunately, as last week's paultry fine showed, the
law currently puts very little value on the lives of workers. The message
to companies is that it makes good business sense to pay small fines
rather than take steps to ensure that workers aren't killed or injured. Our
action today was intended to send out a very different message - that
if the law won't take action against killer companies, we will."
2002 - The Simon Jones Memorial Campaign hosts a LIFE BEFORE PROFIT - STOPPING THE CORPORATE KILLERS rally in Brighton.
The five people arrested at Euromin, Simon's family, the London Hazards
Centre, Centre for Corporate Accountability and over 100 people attend
24th April 2002
24TH APRIL 2002
A national day of action on the fourth anniversary of Simon's death sees the offices of Personnel
Selection in Brighton shut down again. About
100 people gather at noon outside the Personnel Selection offices
with banners, music, balloons, mums with kids, students
from Sussex University where Simon studied, a local councillor and a
dragon. The road is blocked, cars pump horns in support and the public,
who are aware of the campaign, show their support. There are a dozen other sympathy protests
across the country.
Chris and Anne, go into Personnel Selection's office to demand it is shut down
for the day. The police
target two individuals for arrest for obstruction while Simon's parents
are inside Personnel Selection but at 2pm Personnel Selection cave in to pressure and shut their office for the day.
24TH APRIL 2008
On the tenth anniversary of Simon's death, his parents Anne and Chris and brother Tim led a discussion on the lessons learnt by the campaign at Brighton's Cowley Club.