WORKERS on Arriva Trains Northern were due to strike this week in their ongoing battle over pay. Conductors in the RMT union were to strike on Saturday. Retail staff in the RMT and supervisors in the TSSA union were to strike for 48 hours from Wednesday. Workers are furious that Arriva management is trying to blame them for disruption.
RMT regional organiser Stan Herschel says, 'The service Arriva put on is horrendous and the reason they are criticising the strike is due to the fact that it is halving their profits.'
The strike will hit Arriva over the busy bank holiday weekend. Strikers need donations and are considering how to up the pressure on Arriva.
Donations to strike fund c/o RMT, Unity House, 39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.
COMING JUST weeks after the Potters Bar rail crash, this year's conference of Aslef-the train drivers' union-was intensely political. The executive committee's political report made clear the union's support for the Stop the War Coalition.
It also pledged support for other international campaigns, including justice for Colombia and the Palestinian people's right to self determination. The report was highly critical of Blair's links with Berlusconi, and privatisation policies.
There was little debate on the political fund or the link with Labour. This was partly because Aslef branches already have control over their individual political funds. At the local elections an Aslef member ran as a candidate for the BNP. He was immediately thrown out of the union.
The conference unanimously endorsed this decision. General secretary Mick Rix said, 'We may be breaking the anti-union laws, but so what? I don't believe they can take us on on this.' Conference also voted to encourage branches and districts to affiliate to the Anti Nazi League and to make a donation of £500 pounds.
One of the best received speakers was Bob Crow of the RMT. He asked for support for industrial action over privatisation linked safety problems on London Underground. Delegates voted to instruct the executive committee to seek legal advice and consult members on supporting any RMT action.
The job for activists now is to turn the resolutions and rhetoric of conference into well organised campaigning branches that can ensure we deliver on our policies.
For a record of motions passed go to www.aslef.org.uk