ASLEF strikers determined to fight for cost of living increase

“There’s no way we can accept attacks on terms and conditions we’ve fought for 140 years to win in order to revive a pay cut” was the clear message from ASLEF members in Leeds.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

ASLEF members were taking a further day of strike action on Friday 3rd February following joining the 500,000 strong co-ordinated action on 1st February.

They were clear they were in for the long haul, with reballots completed on some train operating companies returning strong votes for continuing action and others underway.

Leeds City Station ASLEF picket line – photo Iain Dalton

One picket in Leeds expressed his ideal strategy of of ongoing days in close proximity to cause maximum disruption co-ordinated with other rail unions, alongside further joint strike days with other unions, and ideally a 24 hour general strike if possible.

At Neville Hill depot there was anger at how disconnected the Tories were from the reality of ordinary people seeking with the cost of living.

As one picket joked “Not paying or taxes and having to pay a £5million fine – who hasn’t had to do that!” With another replying “I think the last time I did I was in the back of a car without a seatbelt on”.

But there was general agreement that Labour probably wouldn’t give them an inflation busting pay rise either. That there are no train drivers in parliament, just like many other working class professions, was noted.

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