Union rejects cut corners for Olympics

26 June 2012

Management today told union representatives that they want ‘temporary working arrangements’ for the duration of the London Olympics. ASLEF, along with the other rail unions, rejected this, insisting that there must be no ‘cut corners’ to safety procedures at any time if a train breaks down.

‘We have agreed procedures that are safe,’ says ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan. ‘It is ludicrous to suggest that we should adopt lower standards even for a limited period. We work to high safety standards. Full stop.

‘We will advise our members to continue to work to the rules, regulations and standards we and management have agreed regardless of the Olympic Games or anything else. To do otherwise would be irresponsible.’

The proposal is to abandon the use of detonator protection to protect the failed train, or to have the driver’s duties carried out by another unnamed ‘competent person’.

The idea seems to have originated because of fears that the additional journeys will increase the possibility of train failure. The unions have written to Network Rail and the Office of Rail Regulation to protest at this attempt to lower safety standards.

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