ASLEF reacts angrily to leaked plans to cut spending and services

08 September 2005

Train drivers union ASLEF is to consider industrial action if leaked plans to cut spending and services on the railways lead to job cuts, the union"s general secretary Mick Rix said today (Monday).

Responding to reports that as many as one train service in five could be cut by the Strategic Rail Authority because of spending shortfalls, Mr Rix said: "These cuts would be a gross betrayal of Labour"s promises and the long-term environmental and economic interests of the British people.

"ASLEF warned from the beginning that the ten-year transport plan was flawed in that it relied far to much on private money. Because of private sector failures and a lack of government resolve we are now looking at a Beeching Mark Two for the railways, rather than the promised expansion and improvements. Once again, the road lobby is winning the battle at the public"s expense.

"My union will now step up its campaign for a return of the railways to public ownership backed by proper government support. If the train operators go - or are forced by SRA bungling - down the road of service cuts, ASLEF will not hesitate to recommend industrial action to protect train drivers" jobs and the interests of service users."

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