Comment by train crew rep on the ASLEF/GTR agreement. The agreement itself is reproduced underneath:

The speedy condemnation of this disgraceful agreement between ASLEF and GTR does credit to the RMT.

I believe the swift and total condemnation issued by the RMT of this TUC organised surrender can act as a rallying call to our members as the fight to achieve a Safe, Accessible and Secure rail network continues. There is undoubtedly a difficult road for us to travel but we will be successful in our struggle provided we maintain our solidarity.

This proposal drawn up by GTR and ASLEF may not ask turkeys to vote for Christmas but it does recommend drivers voting for Prison Sentences. It also supports the work of the Tory Government in its attacks on the disabled by removing the “step and go” rights from those who require assistance to board rail services.

We need to remind Drivers that ASLEF is their Union and that it is their right to decide how to cast their vote .The Drivers should read the statements made by their General Secretary prior to ASLEF incurring many thousands of pounds in court costs (costs which GTR had previously offered to cover). Drivers must ask themselves why they are being asked to vote for a settlement which contradicts everything their General Secretary had to say in the last few months. 

Mick Whelan, ASLEF General Secretary, has made the following statements in the last 6 months:

  • “So there is no dubiety it is the policy of my organisation that there will be no agreement to extend DOO anywhere and even if DCO is agreed by other trade unions we will not be agreeing this method of operation either.”
  • “I haven’t seen one company director in the past 20 years who has got a fiduciary responsibility hauled in to the dock, had their job taken away or go to prison for it – but I have seen it happen to guards, platform staff and drivers.”
  • “We threatened a judicial review in Scotland about disabled access because the law in Scotland on transport access was far stronger than down here, and that helped us win. I believe Southern are suggesting that disabled people in England ring up 24 hours in advance of when they want to travel. The whole basis of the industry is ‘step on and go’. The idea that sectors of our community should have to book in advance when others don’t is anathema to me. Everybody should have the same access and rights to get on and off a train.’”
It is imperative that the traincrew unity which has been so evident since April 2016 continues. Drivers have been a source of support for conductors over these many months and we must ensure that we can now  give them the confidence necessary to vote to reject this agreement which is an insult to the driving grade and everything they have stood for over the years.