Socialist Worker


Drivers express their anger

27 September 2003
STAFF ON the Heathrow Express, which takes passengers from central London to Heathrow airport, have voted in favour of strike action. The Aslef union plans three 24-hour strikes next month after 41 out of 76 members voted in favour.

Activists have to learn lessons of Rix's defeat

26 July 2003
THE DEFEAT of Mick Rix, the leader of the Aslef train drivers' union, has caused big waves. Many union activists are asking how it could happen. As contentious as what went wrong is the question of what should come next, and what his defeat means in other unions.

Why did Rix lose election?

26 July 2003
THE SHOCK defeat of Mick Rix in the election for general secretary of the train drivers' Aslef union brought a glimmer of relief to Tony Blair's ailing government last week. Mick Rix lost to Shaun Brady by 3,299 votes to 4,475 on a turnout of over 45 percent.

Unity message in north east

19 July 2003
THOUSANDS OF people attended the biggest Durham Miners Gala in over a decade on Saturday of last week. The event was co-sponsored by the National Union of Mineworkers and the Unison union. It attracted the support of many other trade unions, including the RMT, Aslef and Usdaw.

Drivers' ballot gets green light

28 June 2003
BALLOT PAPERS went out this week for the general secretary election in Aslef, the train drivers' union. General secretary Mick Rix is seeking re-election, nominated by 83 branches. Shaun Brady, who has only 11 branch nominations, is challenging him. Rix became general secretary five years ago in an election that marked the beginning of a series of successes for left wing candidates.

Aslef conference

14 June 2003
DELEGATES TO the conference of the train drivers' union Aslef unanimously reaffirmed the union's support for the anti-war movement and condemned the war against Iraq. Conference adopted an executive committee report condemning the "unnecessary, immoral and unlawful" war.

May Day

10 May 2003
SOME 2,000 people attended the May Day rally in Liverpool on Monday of this week. They heard Mick Rix, the leader of the Aslef train drivers' union, and George Galloway MP attack Blair's war on Iraq.

EWS train drivers

15 February 2003
OVER 2,500 drivers from English Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) struck on Saturday across Britain, leading to the cancellation of around 200 trains. Drivers, members of the Aslef union, want better pay and pensions plus cuts in hours.

Train drivers

08 February 2003
DRIVERS ON English Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) struck solidly last Saturday and plan another strike this Saturday. They run freight trains and are members of the Aslef union. EWS drivers are demanding what they have been campaigning for over the last three years-a proper pay rise, a 35- hour week, all of pay to count towards pensions, and a maximum ten-hour day.

Arms train drivers plan next move

25 January 2003
RAIL WORKERS in Motherwell, near Glasgow, have underlined why they refused to move a train carrying ammunition for use against Iraq last week. Their action should be an inspiration to everyone who opposes war. At a meeting of their Aslef union branch Motherwell train drivers discussed the stance taken by drivers working for the EWS rail company. The meeting agreed a statement which began:

Train drivers

25 January 2003
AROUND 2,500 train drivers working for the freight company English Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) are to strike over pay and hours. They include workers who have recently blocked ammunition trains in Scotland. The workers are members of Aslef and voted overwhelmingly for action in a ballot. Strikes have been set for four Saturdays-1,8,15,22 February.

Rail workers

02 November 2002
THE EXECUTIVE committee of the Aslef rail union has suspended further planned 48-hour strikes by drivers on First North Western (FNW) while members ballot on an offer from the company. "The problem is none of us know what the offer is," says Steve West, a First North Western driver. The details were to be revealed when people got their ballot papers this week. There's been no sign of any movement from management. Aslef is not recommending acceptance of the deal. So all we can assume is that it contains the same unacceptable attacks on conditions that we have already rejected."

FNW rail strike wins cash boost

19 October 2002
STRIKES BY drivers in the Aslef rail union on First North Western last weekend were solid again. The Aslef union is asking all drivers to put £5 into a FNW disputes fund. Drivers on the Merseyrail company have offered to put in £10 each. More drivers are discussing escalating the dispute.

Plan to smash tube unions falls apart

19 October 2002
THE ATTEMPT by London Underground management, with the connivance of the government, to inflict a serious defeat on the rail unions has spectacularly backfired. London mayor Ken Livingstone came to an agreement with leaders of the RMT and Aslef unions on Wednesday of last week. This has pulled the rug out from under the tube bosses. Livingstone met the unions' call for independent mediation over this year's pay claim and related issues.

Bosses launch shaky offensive

12 October 2002
THE GLOVES are off in the battle on London Underground. Management was set to table a revised offer on Thursday of this week. This is partly designed to divide the tube unions. Last week's strike by members of the RMT and Aslef unions was at least as solid as the one the week before.

Stakes rising on tube strikes

05 October 2002
NOT A single London tube train ran on Wednesday of last week as RMT and Aslef union members staged the most effective strike anyone can remember. It was a humiliation for London Underground management, which had claimed there was little support for the unions' fight over pay.

Stepping up action and solidarity are key

28 September 2002
RAIL WORKERS on two major companies are stepping up strike action over pay and looking to coordinate their disputes. Drivers in the Aslef and RMT unions on First North Western (FNW) are to strike for 48 hours every weekend from now until the end of November. Guards and station staff in the RMT on Arriva Trains Northern struck for the 19th time on Saturday. Action by both groups of workers will hit services across the whole of the north of England.

Demonstrate to stop Bush

21 September 2002
"The US is hell bent on attacking Iraq to impose regime change. On 28 September I will be proud to demonstrate against war. The whole trade union movement should be there." Mick Rix, Aslef rail workers' union leader

Rail workers

07 September 2002
DRIVERS ON First North Western (FNW) trains are due to strike for 48 hours next week after management broke off negotiations. FNW boss Vernon Barker had the cheek to tell negotiators from the Aslef train drivers' union that "the dispute would not be settled until Christmas" if union district secretary Colin Smith continued to take part in the talks. Aslef general secretary Mick Rix said:


27 July 2002
THE PAY revolt on the railways is growing. Drivers on First North Western Trains are set to strike in their fight for decent pay. Aslef members on First North Western have voted to strike after rejecting a 3.5 percent offer. They plan three 48-hour strikes-on 28 and 29 July, 4 and 5 August, and 11 and 12 August.

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