ASLEF rebuts Northern's claims

06 August 2018

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, spoke out this morning after Northern Rail claimed it had to cancel 80 services on Sunday - and expects to cancel many more - because 'staff made themselves unavailable to work'.

Mick said: ‘Numerous times we have sought to put Sundays in the working week - which would have obviated this issue. The company, though, prefers to run on voluntary overtime rather than employ enough staff to operate the services it promised in its franchise application to deliver for passengers. Then, of course, it seeks to blame those who opt not to work their days off? That’s a bit rich! And the company, by this attitude, runs a serious risk of alienating drivers even more and losing the little goodwill it has left with an increasingly demoralised workforce.’

The truth is that the company does not employ enough drivers to deliver the services it promised passengers - and the DfT - it would provide. The truth is that the company depends on drivers volunteering to work overtime. The truth is that we have tried, numerous times, to get Sundays in the working week'. But the company prefers to rely on overtime - and then has the temerity to blame its staff for not working the overtime they are not contractually required to work!

 

 

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