ASLEF members beat back Minimum Service Levels legislation

Leeds ASLEF picket on Friday 2nd February

On the LNER picket line in Leeds on Friday 2 February there were larger numbers present than on other recent strike days. The mood was buoyed by the victory over the attempt to use the minimum service levels legislation against them. The government-owned LNER was defeated by Aslef’s preparedness to escalate action.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

Aslef members have now been on strike as part of this pay dispute for 18 months. Pickets in Leeds have a sign marking each strike day so far – currently on 16.

As pickets explained, they are calling for a pay rise after not receiving one since before the Covid-19 pandemic – around five years ago! They say they cannot accept what was last put on the table by the government and TOCs as it contained unacceptable attacks on their terms and conditions. The bosses have refused to negotiate with them since.

Some strikers were looking towards the general election for a possible break in the situation, although Starmer’s lack of support for the strike action did not inspire much confidence! Aslef should call on Starmer to commit to meeting the union’s demands – but be prepared to fight no matter who is in government.

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