‘Independence’ central to ASLEF president

21 May 2007

ASLEF President Alan Donnelly stressed that the union’s strength over the past 127 years was largely due to the solidarity that came from its independence.

. ‘Policies have always mattered to our union, rather than personalities,’ he said. ‘Personalities mean spin. That is not the ASLEF way.’

He spoke about the exploitation of Eastern Europeans in our country today and said that cheap agency labour, happily with the exception of driving grades, was now prevalent in our own industry.

Alan identified the union’s main challenges within our industry as the success of the Squash campaign to improve drivers’ cabs, the ending of ‘moonlighting’ in our grades, sorting out Specially Monitored Drivers without a discredited points system and the provision of travel facilities equal to those of the old BR days.

He also stressed the need for the union to generate more money and said he had been proud to establish professional systems and people, which meant we no longer took decisions without any consideration of the available budget.

‘There are a host of unions waiting like vultures to snap up ASLEF,’ he said. ‘We will work closely with all our union brothers and sisters, but not at the cost of our independence,’ he declared. ‘They want our industrial muscle. We want our independence. That is why we need to ensure we have the finances to continue as a discreet union.’

STOP PRESS

Delegates to the ASLEF annual conference have voted to increase its subscriptions by a maximum of 50p a week for scale one members, leaving others unchanged. The union will explain the financial position in more detail to activists and examine its procedures to see how expenditure can be reduced.

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