Unforgiven

Rob Dawber died on Tuesday February 20 at around 2am. Rob was a committed trade unionist and a socialist.

He was a Marxist, and a member of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty for 25 years, serving on its national committee for several of them.

He struggled for a better society, against the capitalist system which lets workers die in the pursuit of profit. It was this system's callous disregard for workers' safety that caused Rob's untimely death.

In December 1998, Rob was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung brought on by exposure to asbestos at work. Doctors told him he would be dead within a year. Rob did not give up, but fought his disease as he fought every other struggle - personal and political - in his life: with tenacity, humour and dignity.

Rob was a former railworker who was active for many years in the RMT. He wrote a film - The Navigators - about rail privatisation and its effect on track workers. The film, directed by Ken Loach, has just been completed, and it will continue Rob's fight for the interests of working people beyond his death.

Make no mistake: railway bosses killed Rob Dawber. They exposed him to asbestos at work when they knew it could kill him. We should not forget, and we should not forgive.

Janine Booth