News

Here you will find the latest ASLEF news articles. Archived articles can be found in the News Archive section in the left hand navigation bar.

You can also find recent issues of the ASLEF Journal and other ASLEF publications in the Publications section.  

ASLEF reaches agreement with Labour on workplace rights, rail industry structure, regional transport, rail freight, the Lobbying Act and the Middle East Peace Process
21 Jul 2014Train drivers’ union ASLEF reached agreement with the Labour Party on several important areas of policy at the National Policy Forum meeting in Milton Keynes at the weekend (18th – 20th July).
strike threat
18 Jul 2014Mick Whelan has spoken out after the Conservative Party unveiled plans to make it harder – in fact, almost impossible – for ordinary working people to go on strike. He said: ‘This would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious. Laughable because the Tories didn’t get 50% of the popular vote at the last general election, or even 50% of the seats in the House of Commons. But I’m not laughing because it’s so serious. This is a plan, by the Tories, to take Britain back to the Dark Ages. To a time when the ordinary man and woman knew his or her place, kept your mouth shut, and doffed his cap or curtsied to the local squire. To effectively outlaw the right to strike – a right to withdraw your labour understood and enshrined in every civilised country on this planet – is outrageous. But it’s designed to deflect criticism, in the run-up to another election, from the manifest failures of this Conservative government. Trade unions have always believed in negotiating, and industrial action has always been a last resort. But what the Tories want is a Slave Nation where the workforce is too cowed to ask for a living wage.’
mtr win crossrail
18 Jul 2014Mick Whelan has reacted to the news that MTR, a corporation based in Hong Kong, has won the £1.4 billion contract to run the new Crossrail franchise through London from 2018. He said: 'A foreign operator has, once again, got the chance to run, and take a profit from, a rail franchise in Britain, from which our own government is, at the moment, prevented from bidding. That's why it's so important that, in the future, a publicly-owned, and publicly-accountable, company is allowed to run a railway, as East Coast does so successfully now.'
New ASLEF briefing paper
15 Jul 2014The Office of Rail Regulation recently published rail industry financial information for the years 2012-13. The report includes a lot of statistics, all of which are useful for making the case in support of ASLEF policy. To make it easier, we have highlighted what we consider to be the key points.
Public Sector Workers' Strike
9 Jul 2014On the eve of the public sector workers' strike tomorrow, with firefighters, teachers, civil servants and local government employees set to walk out, Mick Whelan sent a message of solidarity. He said: 'ASLEF gives its full support to all our colleagues from across the public sector who are fighting for a decent living and a decent future.'
FirstGroup executive pay
8 Jul 2014Mick Whelan has spoken out after shareholders and influential investor advisory bodies expressed concern, ahead of the company’s AGM in Aberdeen on 16 July, about soaring executive pay at FirstGroup. The row blew up after it was revealed that the take home pay package of Tim O’Toole, the firm’s chief executive, has risen by a staggering 86% in the last financial year – well ahead of performance, profits and dividends. Mick said: ‘I’m not surprised that the Institutional Voting Information Service has issued an amber top warning about FirstGroup, that Pensions & Investment Research Consultants has urged shareholders to oppose the company’s remuneration policy, and that Thomas Sandell, a leading shareholder, has attacked the pay package for Mr O’Toole. FirstGroup, like many firms, and this isn’t confined to the railway industry, say they can’t afford to pay their staff, the men and women who help create their company’s wealth, any more while giving a few people at the very top quite extraordinary pay increases. No wonder people are concerned. It’s also another example of how money leaks out of the privatised railway industry.'
Network Rail fine
7 Jul 2014Mick Whelan has reacted to the news, announced today, of Network Rail’s record fine. He said: ‘Once more the poor performance of Network Rail, and the fragmentation of Britain’s railways, has resulted in the same sort of lame excuses we have been hearing for the last 20 years. We now find ourselves in the ridiculous position of fining Network Rail £53 million just before it goes back on the government’s books in September. It means there will be even less money available to put right the things that are wrong! There could hardly be a better time for a future government, looking to build a British railway fit for the 21st century, to recognise that privatisation hasn’t worked; that it is a flawed, and failed, model, and to bring the railways back into public ownership where every penny and every pound can be spent on investing in our infrastructure rather than disappearing into private pockets.’
Mick hits out at RDG
1 Jul 2014Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has spoken out after the Rail Delivery Group made a series of specious claims about the railways in Britain.
Mick backs Ed
1 Jul 2014Mick Whelan has backed Labour leader Ed Miliband’s plans to shift economic power in England towards the regions. He said: ‘Ed is right. We need to rebalance the British economy if we are to mend the broken British economy. After the global economic crisis, which was the fault not of the last Labour government but of greedy bankers on Wall Street and in the City of London, followed by five years of savage cuts in the Conservative-led coalition’s Age of Austerity, we desperately need new measures, and new investment, to get this country fit for the 21st century.’ Mr Miliband was speaking in Leeds today after the publication of a new report by Andrew Adonis, the former Secretary of State for Transport, called Mending the Fractured Economy, said councils should be allowed to keep any extra business rates generated by growth to invest locally. Lord Adonis believes that more than £30 billion could be freed-up for local authorities to spend in their areas. Mick added: ‘We welcome investment, and not just in the railway, because that is the way to get this country back on track. And we need to take new measures to bring jobs, and growth, and prosperity, to every part of Britain.’
National Express condemned
27 Jun 2014Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has condemned the award of the Essex Thameside, or c2c, services between London and south Essex to the bus company National Express. Mick said: ‘It’s outrageous that the DfT has awarded a 15 year franchise to a company which cocked up the East Coast, walking away and leaving passengers in the lurch and costing the taxpayer millions.’