Grasping MP condemns non-overtime train drivers

18 November 2009

Harpenden MP and former Tory Cabinet minister Peter Lilley has attacked Thameslink train drivers as ‘militants taking coordinated action to prevent trains running’. The ‘crime’ of these ‘extremists’ is to exercise their legal and contractual right not to work overtime. ‘God save us all from a Tory government,’ says ASLEF general secretary Keith Norman. ‘Is compulsory overtime one of the policies they haven’t mentioned yet?’


The over-excited Hitchin and Harpenden MP frothed in Parliament about his constituents wanting compensation for disruption ‘caused by drivers refusing to work overtime or on rest days’. ‘Exactly,’ says Keith. ‘The ‘crime’ of these drivers was not to work in excess of their conditioned hours. That is not employee problem. It is a management problem - something obvious to all but the most blinkered.’


Keith stressed that it was not an official dispute at this time, although a formal industrial action ballot will commence next week. But he stressed that it was not the union’s job – or anyone else’s for that matter - to try to force train drivers to work overtime or to come in on their rest days.


The union is pleased that Peter Lilley is not having to suffer like his constituents. This is because in 2007/08 he claimed the full Parliamentary £23,083 ‘second homes’ allowance – which is understandable as otherwise the train journey from his constituency is either a whopping 27 minutes from Harpenden to London or a massive 34 minutes from Hitchen. A rail season ticket would have cost the taxpayer £3,640.


Or maybe he just doesn’t like trains. Last year he claimed £2,353 in car mileage.  But at least we know Peter drove on sensible routes, as he claimed £109.94 for a Tom-Tom sat nav - with western Europe included.

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