ASLEF Circular

03 August 2005

ASLEF Reports




Fellow Members,


There is much speculation at present regarding the financial position of our Trade Union and the two interim financial reports being considered by the Executive Committee. The speculation centres on why the reports have not been circulated to Branches, Reps and the wider membership.


Some of the reasons for this are as follows;


The two reports are only a part of a complete report that is still being worked on, a clear picture of the past is only just emerging and it would be wrong and misleading to publish information which may appear different when subsequent facts come to light. Quite often what looks like someone’s fault looks entirely different when viewed subsequently in light of the actions of others.


Because of the complicated nature of finances, these reports need to be considered in depth, additional information needs to be asked for and received and detailed questions, which in themselves lead to other questions, need to be asked and satisfactorily answered.


These questions are, of course, directed not at one source but at a wide range of people including, Auditors, Accountants, Officers, Trustees, The Executive Committee and potentially some members of staff. For this reason the review of our finances is ongoing and this means the Executive Committee, who holds the fiduciary responsibility for our finances, would be failing in their duty if they did not consider all the facts before reporting to the membership.


The Executive Committee will have to endorse the actions of the General Secretary and others, make recommendations and give instructions when they have considered the final report or they may take an entirely different course of action. They need to do this without being hindered by speculation either from within our membership, the wider Trades Union and Labour Movement or from amongst our friends in the press, the industry and from employers. Whilst our entire membership wants to see ASLEF grow and succeed, we must always remember there are plenty of people and organisations who passionately want us to fail.


Releasing information drip by drip will fuel speculation, misinform debate and bring unwanted and unwelcome attention from outside bodies. If we have any dirty linen, we want it washed sensibly, calmly and with as much discretion as possible. Yes, we want all our members to know the facts and take part in the debate, but we also want this debate to take place within our democratic structures. This will ensure that those whose responsibility it is to make decisions are given the opportunity to do so at the right time and in the right place.


These decisions will then be debated by the membership and their elected representatives and our parliament will then be able to conclude the matter.


It is my intention to assist the EC to reach conclusions on the issues in March or April thus allowing informed debate to take place in Branches prior to the AAD. It is my fervent hope that this debate will take place in a spirit of unity and comradeship, not one of disharmony.


I ask the membership to give me, and the leadership of our great union, a little more time and space to carry out the necessary tasks free of leaks and speculation. I promise you that you will be provided with the facts as soon as is practicable and I ask you to be patient.


Please also note that this union is financially strong. There is now no possibility that our long term future is at risk. I have already taken steps to ensure that our services to the membership will become even better, that our future is protected and that our union will go from strength to strength doing what we do best, bettering our terms and conditions and protecting our current and future employment.


Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of your members.


Yours fraternally


Shaun Brady

General Secretary

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