A message from Mick: Make your vote count tomorrow

11 December 2019

Tomorrow, you have the chance to change Britain. It seems that every general election is billed as “the most important in a generation.” But this one really matters.

It will determine the terms of Britain’s departure from the European Union and the shape of our society and economy for decades to come.

For too many people in our communities, job insecurity, in-work poverty and substandard housing are a daily reality. Years of austerity have taken their toll. The NHS is struggling to cope. School classes are increasing and crime is going up.

Labour will invest in our public services, build 100,000 council homes a year and ensure our kids get a hot meal every day with free school meals for all primary school children.

But I am also proud that Labour truly is the party of the railway. It’s put our industry at the heart of the challenge to combat climate change. The manifesto commits to HS2 going to Scotland, re-opening branch lines and Crossrail for the North. The party will also end driver only operation, promote rail freight, introduce a rolling programme of electrification and of course bring our railway back into public ownership. Passengers will get fares cut by a third, too.

But through our affiliation to the Labour Party, we’ve also got commitments to improve the working conditions of ASLEF members. We raised our concerns and the party listened. The Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Andy McDonald, has committed that a Labour government will work with train drivers, through ASLEF, to investigate and develop minimum standards for train driving cabs. The workplace manifesto commits to a maximum temperature for workplaces, specifically mentioning drivers’ cabs and explains that “a Royal Commission will make sure everyone at work has access to basic facilities such as toilets and toilet breaks” including train drivers.

I firmly believe that Labour’s policy offer will improve the lives of millions of working people in our country. A Labour government will also grow our industry and improve the working lives of our members every single day. 

Voting Labour is the best vote for the country, for the railway and for you as a train driver. Please make sure your voice is heard tomorrow. I urge you to vote Labour.

Yours fraternally,

Mick Whelan

General secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers' union

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