AAD 2019 - Day 1

14 May 2019

This week ASLEF members are at our annual assembly of delegates in Leeds.


After AAD was officially opened by Richard Burgon MP, day 1 saw a varied programme of speakers alongside debate between members from branches right across the country.


Executive Committee president Dave Calfe addressed the conference in the morning, saying a general election - not another referendum - is the only way out of the current Brexit impasse. 


Later in the morning delegates heard from Ian Prosser, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Railways and director of railway safety at the ORR. He shared his vision for the industry: zero fatalities and an ever-decreasing risk of injury to passengers and staff. He flagged up some of the continuous improvement work that's going on to make our railways safe and took questions including on how to make sure we don't lose industrial memory and forget the lessons of the past.


He also spoke about the Million Hour Challenge, which is a project between the rail industry and charity Samaritans, challenging rail staff to donate a million hours of volunteer time during the next five years to supporting people facing mental health problems. You can find out more about the challenge and how to get involved on the dedicated website here.

Deborah Reay, Chair of the Women's Representative Committee, reported on her recent trade union women's delegation visit to Palestine. She shared the stories of people the delegation had met, raised awareness of the challenges facing the Palestinian people daily and reminded us how important it is that we speak up for them.

The last speakers of the day were Farren Campbell, Peter Munday and Bob Hayden from the RTBU union of Australia. They told delegates about the current situation for Australian trade unionists, the union movement's campaign to change the rules on employment rights, and pointed out that, whichever side of the world you're on, as a train driver and trade unionist we all have a lot in common.


In the evening we were joined by Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, who became the first MP to signed ASLEF's Mind the Gag campaign pledge. The Mind the Gag campaign is being re-launched at AAD and members and branches are invited to pledge to make our mess rooms and workplaces welcoming and diverse.

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