Conference Report

19 August 2005

AAD

 

ASLEF SAFETY DEBATE

 

Bring back a second trained worker on all trains, ASLEF delegates agreed at the end of a debate on railway safety.

 

The union declared its total opposition to “driver only operation” on Britain’s trains and pledged to resist any moves by employers to extend it, while seeking to restore a second trained employee where DOO has already been imposed.

 

“We need a total review of DOO,” said Brighton delegate Simon Weller. “We want additional safety-trained people on the train.”

 

ASLEF believes that the elimination of guards from many services raises real concerns about passenger safety in the event of an accident, as well as leaving travellers without access to assistance in the event of an incident on the train.

 

Conference also approved a motion warning all train companies that any failure to implement the recommendations of the safety reports by Lord Cullen and Professor Uff would being them into conflict with ASLEF.

 

Delegates – who had earlier stood n memory of the victims of the Potters Bar crash – also expressed alarm at other safety issues on the railway.

 

Referring to reports in the Daily Mirror about numerous safety problems on a particular stretch of track in east Anglia, general secretary Mick Rix said: “If this report is true we really have a big problem in our industry.”

 

While stressing that he had no desire to damage the industry by exaggerating safety difficulties, Mr Rix said that “maintenance and renewal work must now be brought back under proper control and supervision.

 

“We believe we can win that argument. This time we have to say we are not going to tolerate it any more.”

 

Other delegates highlighted difficulties caused by the industry’s confidential reporting system, which sometimes led to established health and safety representatives and committees being bypassed.

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