Solid support for South West Trains ‘Taxi’ dispute

31 May 2006

ASLEF members working for South West Trains have solidly supported the industrial action called by the union in a dispute over taxis. Regional Organiser Graham Morris says, ‘The company used to provide staff trains for drivers working early morning or late night shifts until they decided to cancel them all.


As part of that agreement they offered drivers the use of taxis – and now they’ve taken the cabs away as well. Firms cannot renege on agreements they make with ASLEF and expect timid compliance from our members. We are the people who bring London to work. We will not be treated with contempt by SWT or anyone else.’


About 200 drivers based at Waterloo have been involved in the dispute, which consists of a series of 24-hour stoppages. The first was yesterday (Tuesday) and further action will take place tomorrow (Thursday 1 June). Further action is planned on two days for next week.


The company said it remained open for talks with the union and said it had made an offer it believed met ASLEF’s concerns. ‘The fact that this is untrue is self-evident,’ says Graham. ‘If they’d made an offer that our members found acceptable, we wouldn’t have a dispute, would we? These people have been watching too much Dr Who – they seem to live in a parallel universe!’


Services have continued because managers have been taking trains out – Graham says this is a very short-term measure that will collapse in the very near future. ‘The only long-term solution is to sit down with the union and hammer out a deal,’ Graham says. ‘While they continue to offer nothing, the action will continue.’

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