Train drivers on Midland Mainline are to strike for six successive Fridays over the issue of management's treatment of medically-restricted drivers and ill-health severance.
With a 95.7% ballot majority (135 votes for; just 6 against), ASLEF has named strike dates on Fridays 25th August and 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th September 2006.
It's a timely reminder that recent(ish) legislation in the form of the Disability Discrimination Act is not giving full protection to workers whose health deteriorates and that we still need industrial action to enforce our rights.
On Gatwick Express, ASLEF members voted for action with a less overwhelming, but still resounding, majority of 62.2% (23 votes to 14) to demand a better pay offer. Again, the union has named six separate stike dates, this time Friday 25th and Tuesday 29th August; Friday 8th, Monday 11th, Friday 22nd and Monday 25th September.
Let's hope that either the bosses back down or the union goes ahead with the strikes. Unfortunately, ASLEF's (and other unions') form is to call strikes, maybe go out for a day or two, then settle for something considerably less than satisfactory. If rank-and-file members get organised now, then maybe they can prevent this happening and insist instead that these disputes are fought until they are won.