Squash campaign: report grubby cabs

30 April 2010

ASLEF is calling on its members to report every grubby cab in the repair book. The aim is to impress on management that the union’s call for clean cabs is a serious issue for ASLEF members.

‘At the moment managers think they don’t need to do anything because they are not deluged with complaints,’ says Keith Norman. ‘We want members to start the deluge.’

The union argues that there are two important principles involved – safety and status.

‘For too long our drivers have accepted that cab conditions will be unpleasant. Perhaps it dates back to steam days – but those days have gone.

‘Driving modern trains is a very different profession, and those who do it are entitled to respect and dignity. Our working space should be of the same standard as skilled professionals in any other industry.’

Unclean cabs are also unsafe cabs – a point confirmed recently when an ASLEF member on London Underground was paid 'substantial' compensation after the company ignored complaints from members and reps about dirty and hazardous train cabs. Our member needed an operation after his finger was slit open by a piece of broken glass left in a train cab. ‘Obtaining compensation is a success – but securing clean safe cabs is the victory we want,’ Keith declared.

The union wants to reach agreements with all employers about

  • standards of cab cleanliness
  • a regular cleaning programme
  • provision of regularly emptied bins
  • regular maintenance of air filters
  • provision of cleaning cloths.

‘We want every member to back these demands by reporting every grubby cab to management in the repair book – and to let your health and safety reps know you’ve done it,’ says the general secretary. ‘If we all do this, we can show management that ASLEF train drivers won’t tolerate dirty and potentially hazardous working conditions – and impress on them that cab cleanliness is a real issue for drivers.’

The union has called on members to ‘Make a stink about a grubby cab!’

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