The Socialist 25 October 2007
Public health not private wealth
Train drivers prepare for action
A period of relative quiet in the rail industry has ended, management plans to attack pensions and conditions are meeting resistance from train drivers.
An Aslef member
At Midland Mainline a dispute has broken out over the failure by the employer to uprate pensions when pay has increased. Apparently this only came to light due to the impending change to franchises which affect the company.
In a ballot of ASLEF members, 86.9% voted for industrial action and the executive committee has agreed strike dates of Thursdays 25 October, 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 November. This is unusually decisive for the EC and reflects members' anger that pensions are again treated by employers as an optional extra rather than deferred pay.
ASLEF is to ballot members on Scotrail about disciplinary procedures which the union calls "utterly disproportionate", the result is expected on 14 November.
At Central Trains, which will cease to exist in November due to franchise changes, an industrial action ballot is underway, over the issue of driver managers driving trains when the work should be done by drivers.
When ASLEF members have asked if the action will go ahead, even though employees involved in the ballot will move to three different firms on 11 November, apparently the advice is that the dispute goes with you to your new employer.
Welcome to the wacky world of franchising and privatisation. Members may be striking against an employer who had no part in the original dispute.
In this issue
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party women
Socialist Party news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis