Monday, May 20, 2013

Union calls for protection for train drivers

9 May 2013
ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan today called for greater protection for train drivers from vandals and trespassers on the railways as two more trains were attacked. ‘This is becoming an everyday occurrence,’ Mick said. ‘Our members have the right to go about their occupation without worrying about their safety – and if the driver is under attack, so too are the passengers.’
Micksays sooner or later these attacks will lead to a major incident and he calledfor greater education in schools, on stations and within communities to warnpotential vandals of the seriousness of this dangerous anti-social behaviour.
Thechair of the union’s Motherwell branch was injured when a stone was thrownthrough his window as he drove betweenBlantyre and Newton stations just after 22:00 on Wednesday, and a Preston toLondon Virgin Pendolino train was delayed for three hours at Crewe after itwas attacked by youths who caused £6,000 worth of damage.
‘Tossing objects at trains isnot a bit of fun,’ Mick says. ‘It is a dangerous vandalism that could lead to aloss of life.’
Mick called for a continual processof education, rather than just ‘an outbreak of activity’ after an incident.


ASLEF is Britain's trade union for train drivers. Its 18,500+ members are employed in the train operating companies, the freight companies, London Underground and some Light Rapid Transport.
The first recorded meeting of the 'Associated Society of Locomotive Steam Enginemen and Firemen' was held on 7 February 1880 and its first monthly magazine was published eight years later. The union has seen its members working 12 or 16 hour days and six day weeks; it has fought major industrial disputes; it has seen nationalisation and privatisation; it has witnessed massive growth in the railways and the slashing cuts of Beeching. Throughout it all, it has continued to advance the opinions of its members with dignity, force and coherence that should be expected of the UK's foremost craft union.
Today the union's head office is located at 75-77 St John Street, London EC1M 4NN. The union's day to day direction is overseen by the Executive Committee. Each of its 8 regions has a District Organiser and an Executive Committee member, while the main negotiations with employers are undertaken by Company Council Representatives.
The union also has a retired members section and three consultative committees representing members who are women, black and ethnic and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. It is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress and to the Labour Party.


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