A month before the end of the franchise, ASLEF is balloting its members on Central Trains for industrial action.
This is the first industrial action ballot held by ASLEF within the life of the Central Trains franchise. Previously union members have shown their displeasure with management by not volunteering to work on particular Sundays (as Sundays are not part of the working week), known locally as B-B-Q days. On this occasion ASLEF has called a ballot so that it can sanction strike action hopefully on a day other than Sunday. The effectiveness of not working on Sunday is highly questionable because Central have been quite happy to tough out any negative publicity when not providing the service because it has no financial impact on them whatsoever.
The ballot arises because on previousB-B-Q days senior management have used driver managers to drive trains within the depot so that the service can be got ready for Monday morning. You see, they worry about service provision on a weekday and are prepared to break agreements to ensure that everything goes smoothly for the commuters.
This dispute will be a useful reminder to the new management of East Midlands Trains (Stagecoach) that we will defend our agreements and a pleasing two fingered adieu from those of us who will not be going into the new West Midlands franchise with Banaghan and gang.