ASLEF and TSSA voted to accept the “Collins Review” rule changes, which will lead to a drastic reduction in their (and all other Labour-affiliated unions’) voting strength within Labour Party structures.
This outcome needs to be registered as a clear defeat for the unions but in public they counter by pointing to other ‘positive’ changes of tenth rate importance. In private the thinking seems to be that the unions can’t rock the boat before the general election. This is coupled with mollifying but nebulous chatter about how militant towards Labour the unions will be after the elections.
In early May, 30 Labour Party PPCs wrote a letter calling on their party to intervene in the rail industry in the same way that it has said it will do, if elected, in the energy market. They point to the success of the not for private profit model (NFPPM) that has worked well on the East Coast line. Even Ed Milliband has made vaguely supportive noises about reforming the system whilst some senior people have said that NFPPM does not go far enough.
It seems that Labour policy on the railways is in flux at the moment so the unions need to be pressing them hard on this. A campaign for Labour to adopt rail renationalisation, the policy of all the rail unions, has some chance of success.