Rumours reach us that certain TOCs may be preparing offers to their drivers, via Aslef, aimed at heading off the possibility of united action against DOO.
These offers may include the promise of a substantial pay rise, in exchange for effectively selling conditions: that means concessions on DOO, and also potentially on other issues like the working week, with TOCs possibly moving to include Sundays in rosters.
Bosses will be seeking to replicate the experience of Southern, where members eventually accepted a shoddy deal after rank-and-file resistance was worn down after two initial rejections.
It is absolutely vital that drivers stand firm against any attempt to buy our conditions. We would be selling out ourselves, and our colleagues on other grades. On TOCs like Northern and South West, RMT guards are fighting a heroic ongoing struggle against DOO with sustained strike action. Aslef drivers should be joining them on their picket lines. There should be no question whatsoever of allowing ourselves to be bought off and prevented from joining that dispute by the promise of a salary bump. To do so would fly in the face of Aslef policy, written into its charter reaffirmed again and again at conference year after year.
Bosses at Greater Anglia recently took the opportunity of a "harmonisation" process, integrating disparate T&Cs into a singular deal, to make drivers an offer of precisely this nature, which did indeed include an attempt to extend the working week to Sundays. Impressively, Aslef drivers overwhelmingly rejected the deal, by 90+%. Shamefully, the union leadership recommended that members accept it!
The spirit of the Greater Anglia drivers who voted no should be extended: no to selling out our terms and conditions, no to selling out the guards, and let’s ensure Aslef properly joins, and sees through, the industrial struggle to push back DOO.