Rail Strikes: 'No alternative' but to take action - ASLEFSep 01, 2023
Say Hello, how are you? Good to see you. Thank you for joining us. I don't always recognize you with your beard. Why do you have this job? Well, it's not a job for August and unfortunately, well, it's illegal. that we work by the rules, okay, then, simply put, after four years without a pay rise, we are still in a dispute, we re-engaged in good faith talks after the misleading
actions of the government and the RDG over the Christmas period, where they put We reached an agreement that we have never seen ever agreed upon and I spoke to you earlier about then we went back to a process where we agreed on a framework for how we would handle things and they were named in the framework and they put yet another agreement. that contained all of our red lines, so we took some
actionafter we haven't had contact with anyone for the last six or eight weeks and put an overtime ban in place this week to hopefully get people back to the table in the one you are Canvas though, why don't you stay down now?
Alright? So we just leave. Is that so? We went five years without a salary agreement. We went 10 years without a salary agreement. Don't we have four percent a year? for two years, um, that was the last offer, wasn't it? We were offered a 20 pay cut for giving up all our T&Cs and pretty much decimating the return to Victorian conditions, which wasn't part of the discussion, it was partly an agreement we had right. but is it not correct to say that you rejected proposals which would have seen wages rise by four per cent a year for two years?
Well there is no salary increase to remain a winner of the salary cut because we will know that inflation has been above 10 and last year it was 13.8 and we were not looking for a salary increase for the previous two years, so if we add it , it would have been practically a 25 pay cut for £500 million of productivity that we cannot provide. Do you think you still have the public? I mean, the average salary for a train driver is £65,000 and they work a ton of overtime for it and give a lot of goodwill for it, so we'll see how much overtime has worked this week, won't we?
We will see how many vacancies we have within the industry and we will see how the industry works without goodwill during this period of time and we have to continue to emphasize our point. I'll be talking to you today, okay, if we weren't taking this action, the only way I can articulate and make these people's voices heard is let's do something and what about the people who are also feeling the pressure in this moment? with inflation as high as you illustrate there and they can't go to work because because there is a ban on overtime we still have approval ratings, we also have the fact that in virtually every sector they are in the same position as we every time someone uses fair and reasonable words, we know that's false, it's not true for the civil service, it's false for the NHS, it's false for teachers, it's false for the royal sector and we really just want the government come and sit down and I will continue to make this point.
We have no problem in Wales, we have no problem in Scotland, we have no problem in Freight, we have no problem with Open Access, I have no problem in Cross Rail, Eurostar, the tube, this is the problem and this is Dogma instead of Industrial we had the impression that the secretary of veterinary transport was being promoted. I haven't seen him since before Christmas. I haven't seen the real Minister since January 6th, when the last thing they did was that deceitful act. that then they must have known about unauthorized so I was getting along better I can't say I'm sleeping with people I haven't met in six months well you haven't seen them in six months so they're obviously ignoring you so what do you expect achieve from this week?
And if so, if you don't make it, then what happens next? Well, what happens next? We consider our next tactics in our strategy and what we need to do to get people. to the table to try to resolve this, I mean, it can't go on forever, we want to resolve this, no matter how badly they've treated us, no matter how badly they've behaved, how deceitful, dishonorable and insincere we've been every time we have gone. Return to the table to try to find a resolution. Our intention is still to find that resolution, so you still want at least 11 to match instead.
He never put a price on that and never has. Why not? You already know because what is real comes out. salary cut in the future and he has also told me what inflation is, which is double digits, so he wants at least that, he never said that and we would look, we would look at the case of The Travelers, you know in all negotiations that it is like selling his house. Well, the point here is that as soon as you put a price on something, someone tries to lower it, they will leave the conversations and then depending on what other people want within those conversations, what happened recently is that we sat down and moved forward a process to seek a global solution to the national dispute we agreed to process then all other things will return to the normal negotiating machinery with the red lines removed and produced a wage agreement with all the red lines contained in it, but that was a bad face?
What are you going to do to get them to the table if they don't want to come and you don't, like you said, you haven't talked to them in six months or you haven't seen them in six months? we're going to do about it we're going to keep taking action until someone listens to us but it doesn't seem like they're going to do it right it's like you're whistling in the wind well we have to wish the wind five years 10 years 20 years to get someone to sit down to the table, this will be resolved at some point and someone will speak to us properly at some point and the fact that we are willing to look, we have simply had to update all our mandates once again under Conservative legislation for our industrial action has proven more higher than if they had been on strike for 14 months and our people are still sending back a constant fraction of 95 per cent to strike and strike action which indicates the strength of feeling about the The people I represent are not McWhelan saying that We want to go on strike.
Ashlef members say they want fair treatment and are prepared to do so for 20 years. If necessary, possibly because the idea of the option is to do nothing um, you won't tell me how much you're looking for, but what we can discuss is the fact that you didn't present the most recent payment offer to your members. Am I right in saying that also all the people that we spoke to, we have agreed on a framework agreement that we have gone through, it works for our normal collective bargaining processes and the collective purchasing process, we have them with the employers, they recognize that we do not no deal we can't I recommend it because that's our members policy so when doing deals with our red lines they set it up to fail thinking if it doesn't because I was in Cambridge on Friday, I was in York yesterday and I was in Exeter. tonight and I talked to my members the whole time, okay, but don't you think it's appropriate because you know, like you say, it's not you, it's your members?
Shouldn't you make a payment offer to your members? Is there a policy that we don't? Give them offers that we can't recommend, so I will honor their wishes when we come to a deal that we think we can recommend, that's when we will go to our members because that's what they tell us to do, okay, what do you want? To say to the government this morning, well, I want to tell the government that I am terrified by their plans to close booking offices and an increasingly rude society, they are making our sales. The
railroads left the state and anyone is making the
railroads unviable and determining the people who travel. with them is this government how are they, let's say, well, we don't, we have many areas that we discovered through covid where, uh, where we don't have people on the platforms and reservation offices on the trains, that unfortunately The young people and other people gather on railways and I think we are going to harm the disabled traveling public and we are going to harm tourism and we are going to harm the safety of staff who work on the railway by the proximity of the reservation offices problem for the London Underground how they seem to have closed a lot of booking offices on the London Underground there seems to be not so much staff on the platforms and there are a lot of tourists but they have to have those stations There has to be a demand for staff, whereas on the mainline railway it's not always is the case.
Well, as far as the government is concerned, they're not going to show up, they've said they've told us that's it, you know, or you
takeit. or leave it alone, you are saying in a nutshell that you are happy and your members are happy to
takeaction over the next two decades if necessary, what does that say to my viewers this morning? Do you think what he's telling you is that you? We have a government that doesn't care, it would help you and your viewers and the traveling public. You have a government that doesn't really want to invest in green rail, so I want to invest in integrated transport.
I am not interested. on the people and workers of this country and you don't give a damn about those key workers who put themselves at risk during the pandemic and you think a Labor government would have a different approach, I hope we see potentially Always great to see you Dave, many thanks for joining us.
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