Mick's Column

Here you can find the regular column from ASLEF's General Secretary, Mick Whelan.

Reasons why everyone should vote on 7 May

May 2015

In line with our policy, we have worked incredibly hard to deliver a Labour victory. The need to protect and develop the NHS, and to look for a model that drives a real future for our industry, are paramount.

The doubling of the national debt whilst promoting the bedroom tax, zero hours contracts,

Atos, the removal of free speech under the Lobbying and Transparency Act, not for the brown envelope mob but for trade unions and charities, attacks on the right of workers to take on employers at tribunal or after personal injury, and the planned removal of your right to strike – these are just a few reasons why everyone should vote on 7 May. Civil society as we know it has come under prolonged attack not to promote the greater good but because of dogma and it is time for change.

In this issue of the Journal you will hear why we support the party created by the trade unions. You will also see ordinary train drivers standing for parliament in the hope of making it a more representative house, with real life experience colouring the many and difficult decisions that have to be made. We wish all our members, standing or supporting in local or national elections, every success and applaud the time, effort and belief they have shown in fighting for their communities.

We await the outcome of an incident that has serious implications for the impact of a casual workforce in a complex industry. An operator has had its ability to run trains suspended, at least temporarily. We have long asked questions about how substantive employers or serial casual employers share safety information and micromanage rehabilitative or other plans, post incident, and do some take any action at all?

Because it is unfair on drivers and companies that behave responsibly, and have robust systems in place, to suffer detriment if others do not.