First day of ASLEF Conference

24 May 2011

The union's AAD (Annual Conference) debated a number of items on the first day of its business. Below are some of the more important decisions.

ASLEF’s conference offered its congratulations to the last government for introducing Key Worker Schemes to assist employees to purchase or rent affordable property in areas near where they work that otherwise would have been beyond their price levels. It called, however, for an extension of the scheme to include all transport workers.

Congratulations, however, were not in order for London Mayor Boris Johnson who was roundly condemned for his remarks at a business dinner about driver training being possible ‘in a couple of weeks’. They also dismissed as ‘unrealistic’ suggestions that tubes could be driverless.

Three lines on the London Underground will be made automatic in the near future, but delegates said only people who believed computers cannot go wrong would welcome driverless trains on the Jubilee, Central and Victoria lines. ‘The driver is there for when things go wrong – and they remain a vital part of the safety measures for passengers in the capital. There will always be a need for a driver to deal with emergencies.’

Other decisions taken at the AAD being held in Swansea included

  • Support for remaining within the Labour Party and fighting for change rather than ‘shouting from the sidelines’
  • Continued opposition to the government cuts programme
  • Support for the Freight Grants Scheme
  • Backing for both the imprisoned Iranian trade union leader Mansour Osanlu and for the Hands off The People of Iran (HOPI) campaign.
  • Total opposition to reduced benefits for railway pensions, including keeping the final salary provision and opposition to moving from the Retail Price Index to the Consumer Price Index to calculate increases.

The union’s financial report revealed an operating surplus for the year of over £380,000.

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