ASLEF at Congress: Monday

11 September 2018

Dave Calfe, EC vice-president, rose on Monday morning to support a composite motion, moved by Dave Prentis, Unison, and seconded by Gail Cartmail, Unite, on public services and the lessons to be learned from the collapse of Carillion.

Speaking from the podium, Dave said: ‘Congress, ASLEF passes on our solidarity to comrades who have been affected by the collapse of Carillion. This sorry story is just another of so many. Time and time again private companies have been brought in to run public contracts. We are told that the profit motive will make them efficient. They have knowledge and expertise that the public sector does not. And time and time again, they fail, and leave chaoas and financial burden on those who work for the service, those who rely on it and the taxpayer.

‘Comrades, you have our support as people who have experienced the same nonsense on our railway. The most obvious example being East Coast where overbidding has meant train operators have defaulted and had the keys back in three times since privatisation. The last failed operator, Virgin Trains East Coast, avoided paying more than £2 billion in franchise premiums tothe government.To hide embarrassment, the government is also rewriting contracts with operators as the cost of the taxpayer.


‘It’s usually Einstein who’s credited as saying “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. Well, what does that tell us about the decision to constantly outsource?


‘Trade unions have consistently warned against privatisation and outsourcing. But despite the mounting evidence and experiences of our members and the British public, our politicians continue to repeat the same mistakes.There is only one reason for this. Free market dogma. We must learn from our mistakes or we’ll constantly repeat them. The market has failed to provide quality public services and value for money. Let us use the evidence and stop the insanity.’ 






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