We reproduce below two accounts of a meeting at GTR’s Go-Ahead House yesterday between Mick Whelan, Aslef General Secretary, Graham Morris, full time officer, Marz Colombini, Executive Committee Member, and the Drivers Functional Council and Local Depot Council reps. It does not make for pleasant reading. With the Joint Branches meeting at Three Bridges this evening we want to help inform drivers as much as possible of what has been done in their name. First there is an impassioned plea to drivers to reject the Aslef/GTR deal and VOTE NO.
WHY OUR SISTERS AND BROTHERS IN ASLEF MUST REJECT THIS IMPOSITION
THIS IS NOT A NEGOTIATED AGREEMENT THIS IS AN IMPOSITION BY GTR
This imposition of DOO must be rejected by the Drivers. There can be no defence of the Terms of Surrender put before them. This is a one sided deal that benefits GTR and humiliates ASLEF.
The Talks only happened once ASLEF had suspended all industrial action. That was not enough for GTR SO they chose to humiliate the ASLEF negotiating team, and the members they represent, by continuing to extend DOO even as they sat at the negotiating table.
ASLEF, to preserve some dignity, needed to walk away from the negotiating table when it became clear that GTR were extending DOO during the talks. Regrettably they choose to remain and suffered the predictable consequence of being bullied into total submission.
GTR have taken everything they want and given nothing in return. The never ending list of exceptional circumstances when the trains can operate without a second person gives them the right to run their services DOO at will. This impacts on Safety and Accessibility with the implications that has for both individual Drivers being held accountable in a Court and the right of the disabled to travel without pre booking.
- “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.”
- “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 TIME FOR MICK WHELAN AND THE ASLEF NEGOTIATING TEAM TO REMEMBER THOSE WORDS AND STAND UP AND DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF DRIVERS AND THE DISABLED
There has been much talk in the depots regarding the imagined split between Drivers in Coastal Depots and those in the Metro. The belief is that whereas the Coastal depots are opposed to the extension of DOO, the Metro depots are only concerned about the correct consultations taking place before the introduction of DOO.
That may or may not be an accurate scenario but what is absolutely clear is that this ‘PEACE DOCUMENT’ has not come about through meaningful discussions with Drivers representatives rather it is the product of one side enforcing their will on the other. That makes it an imposition not an agreement.
If this is accepted by the Driving grade then it is the end of them having an effective voice in the workplace NO MATTER WHERE THEY WORK. If they are unable to stand up for their right to have a meaningful voice at the negotiating table then they will be unable to stand up and defend their Terms and Conditions.
The prize of having a subservient Driving grade has been long sought after by the industry and the Drivers capitulation now would be accepted with relish.
If this deal is accepted it means the end of a Drivers Union that can defend its members.
A Drivers Union that has accepted that it cannot fight can no longer stop the Company managing out of the industry all Drivers who are deemed not to conform to “Company Standards”.
Our Sisters and Brothers in the driving grade who have helped sustain our fight over the past ten months, both by financial help and by boosting morale, have earned our respect and gratitude. We must ensure that they know they have our full support as they face up to rejecting this imposition and all it entails.
IT IS TIME FOR DRIVERS TO MAKE THEIR VOICE HEARD
DEFEND A SAFE ACCESSIBLE AND SECURE RAIL NETWORK