Trade unions improve safety

12 May 2016

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has welcomed the news that Britain’s railways are safer today than at any time since the Stockton & Darlington Railway ushered in the railway age nearly 200 years ago. Figures released by the Office of Rail and Road reveal that, for the first time in history, the railways recorded no rail industry-caused fatalities in the year April 2015 – April 2016.

‘This is fantastic news,’ said Mick. ‘And this safety record has been achieved with the active participation of trades unions following historic disasters on the railways. ASLEF has 277 health and safety reps looking out for the health and safety of our 20,000 members, other rail workers and the travelling public, and their work has played a big part in achieving the safer railway we have today.

‘It should also be recognised that this flies in the face of the negativity coming from government about the role of trades unions, especially the vicious anti-Trade Union Act. We have shown how trades unions help to save lives – and it’s about time that was recognised.

‘This should also be a reminder to the government that if they want to truly avoid a return to the bad old days of major rail disasters they must keep up investment in rail and rail maintenance – and ensure a good working relationship with trades unions and our members.’

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