At a district council No.1 meeting held in the British Rail Staff Association Club, Waterloo, delegates wished Assistant General Secretary Don Mullen a happy retire. Don, being a keen cricket supporter, was presented with a panic hamper by the AGS elect Neil Milligan.

Neil spoke highly of the sincerity, dignity and leadership that Don has given to A.S.L.E.F. and the trade union movement.

It was through another great leader George Crombie that Neil met Don. In those days Don used to be an M.I.C. Instructor, LDC Secretary and District Council delegate.

He started his career at Ashford, ending up at Crystal Palace from where he entered fully into the trade union movement, rising to AGS in 1971.

Don reminisced about the old days; how he first started as  a shipwright apprentice at the age of 14 on a wage on a wage 9s.9d; how he moved with his family to Ashford and from there his to his position. Don spoke of the management of previous years and their attitudes as compared with today. Names were mentioned, as was the vacuum when they left British Rail.

Don also recalled the days when he first entered the trade union movement: LDC and District Council delegate, EC, his move to Ireland, district organiser for the London area taking over from Wilf Cleaver, the Amersham Arms, the present machinery of negotiation, his involvement in clauses 2 -26 (now RSJC L211).

Don praised the decision of members in electing Neil Milligan as AGS. Neil would not let the membership down. Don also praised the membership for electing Derrick Fullick as district secretary - a true reflection of the members' wish for strong leadership.

The chairman thanked Don, along with sectional council B secretary Ron Lifford, and all the delegates wished Don and his wife Pauline a long and happy retirement.

On a more sombre note, on Monday March 26 the district council was addressed by John Mayer, the NUM president of Betteshanger colliery, Kent. Who would have thought on the day when the NUM national president  explained the cold, hard facts of the coal industry to the delegates of the District Council, that miners would still be on strike.

District council 1 passed a resolution in support of the miners. Over the past months branches on the Southern Region have organised various collections for the miners.

E.C. member Derrick Fullback at past meetings has explained that A.S.L.E.F. has 17 MPs in Parliament who will represent us and that to date 70 odd questions have been tables on our behalf.

Serpell report is still with us and the TUC nationalised industries committee has been approached to defend public transport. As the EC member stated, if we do not get this kind of support there will be a total erosion out our industry. Already protest have made to the Southern Region Transport User Consultative Committee to see if closures cause hardship.

Derrick, on his last appearance as EC member, thanked the branches who voted him for the position of district secretary and thanked them for the support that has been given to him over the past years, difficult though they have been at times. He wished Neil Milligan every success as AGS.

Neil Milligan thanked the delegates and branches who had supported him. He recalled the first time he attended district council at the Friend's House at Croydon. but most of his thoughts were directed to the miners. They were re-living history, but with a vengeance. The violence originates with 10 Downing Street, not the miners. The miners are suffering, suffering with dignity; even the Church of England is speaking our for them. We must redouble our efforts.

The proposed LTM two-tier traffic management on the Southern Region has been briefuly explained to the delegates by the sectional council. Each area manager assumes full responsibility within his area acting on policy and targets laid down by regional headquarters.

Statutory items continue to be dealt with by regional headquarters. This will involve redistribution of work, eliminate a number of clerical and managerial posts and released rented office accommodation at Wimbledon, Croydon and parts of Beckenham.






Don Pullen 
Assistant  General Secretary 
1970 - 1984

As a member who has over many years had the privilege of knowing and working with our retired Assistant General Secretary Don Mullen. I was delighted to read the tributes paid to him in the December issue of the Journal and the report of district council 1 in the January.

The expressions of appreciation for Don's massive contribution to work of our Society, the trade union and labour movement, were more than deserved.

Space does not permit me to express the many memories I have of Don's career, but I would like to add a small personal tribute by taking a short trip down memory lane and in so doing mention a few former Southern Region LTE members with whom Don was closely associated in the early days of his career.

It was on a very hot summer evening in 1952 that I first met the activist from Selhurst branch, accompanied by the redoubtable Selhurst branch secretary, the late Bill Boulton.

The meeting had been arranged to discuss the increasing concern of motormen regarding their conditions, the wages for working single-manned, and the high level of daily productivity being performed.

At this meeting we elected D.K.P. as our secretary, and like many meetings where medical views are discussed our extremely lively, with some of the participants even arguing that a Southern Region Motorman's Union should be formed.

However, the majority of us supported the view that ,even if we were incurring the displeasure of the Executive Committee, our best interests would be served by operating and presenting our views within the democratic structures of A.S.L.E.F.

It is interesting when looking back over Don's early career to realise how many of those members who participated in the activities of the Joint Electrical Sub Committee went on to serve the union at all levels - to name a few: Bro. Monty Renshaw (LDC Rep., Wimbledon Electrical Area Sectional Council Chairman), Bro. Harold Bagihole (LDC Secretary London Bridge, Electrical Area Sectional Council Chairman); and the late Bros. Bert Howes and Ted Miles, both in their turn to become the. LTE EC member. There were, of course, many more. 

I am sure that when Don reminisces about his footplate and trade union experiences those early days will fill a special place in his reservoir of memories, as it does for all of us who have been associated with him throughout his long and successful career.

To Pauline (whose contribution to work of A.S.L.E.F. and to Don's success can never be measures), his family and good self, I wish a long and happy retirement.

Finally, I pay tribute to a member who hails from the South Coast - Barry Mintram of Portsmouth.

I did not know Bro. Mintram as long as Don as  but over the years I was associated with him I came to respect the manner in which he championed the cause of the A.S.L.E.F. and that of the members he represented as a member of the Portsmouth LDC.

He was what we call in the footplate fraternity "a character". His forthright and at times, abrasive manner did not always win him friends, but at all times he was straight to the point - you always knew where you stood with Harry. Many a managerial chairman found him a doughty opponent.

Along with a committee of very able members he helped to create a standard a social; events which have become a legend. Retired and retiring members, along with theirs ladies, were for an evening made to feel like kings and queens, such was the grandeur and excellence of the functions

I call certainly miss the occasional visits Harry made to the drivers' room at Clapham Yard where, in typical Mintram style, we would receive a greeting which, if addressed to a senior manager, would have measured a week's suspension on the disciplinary Richter scale!

To Harry and Kim, I wish a long and happy future.

What a vintage month December 1919 was the Southern and for A.S.L.E.F.




ED: Further to Bill William's letter, we heard with regret of the recent deaths of two Southern Region ASLEF stalwarts: Bro. Bert Dray of St. Leonards branch, and Bro. Monty Renshaw, of Ascot and Reading branch. both former Southern Sectional Council chairmen. Our condolences to family and fiends.

Presented to Don Pullen 

by the General manager, Southern Region 31.10.84 

Power Controller Handle from a Southern Region a suburban unit





I would like to put on record a tribute to Don Pullen, with whom, as a friend and trusted colleague, it has been my privilege to associate over the years.

The railway is the poorer for the loss of his firmly held and reasonably put views which are the true spirit  unionism in this country. This should be remembered, particularly at the time when many people are occupied solely with vilification of the movement generally.







It was decided by the branch that a sub-committee be set uo to raise funds for the miners' families, and our four members who had been operating the fund were elected. It has proved such a success that on Saturday December 1 these four members of the branch were able to hire transport and take a quant of food, clothing and sweets to the families of miners at Betteshanger colliery in Kent. To quote one member "it was an emotional scene." 

To all those who contributed to the fund, and to future collections which will take place, my sincere thanks and appreciation. There have been some members who have declined to give anything. I apologise for their lack of thought, bearing in mind that the miners have always supported us in one way or another when we have wanted help in our disputes.






Our AGM started with a review of the year's finances, and in particular the finances to the mineworkers' strike. The branch secretary gave details of how much Monet has been raised by the sale of the various strike and unity badges.

Between July and November 1984 the branch raised just over £1,000 for families of miners on strike. Recent donations included £400 to Hatfield NUM in South Yorkshire, £200 to Snowdon NUM in Kent, and £100 to Brodsworth NUM, again in South Yorkshire. In a sense these donations are a drop in the ocean, but if you consider that the current A.S.L.E.F. membership at Three Bridges stands at just twenty men, it will give you some idea of the wonderful effort put in by members of this branch.

Along with our NUR colleagues at Three Bridges, plus our A.S.L.E.F colleagues at Bognor Regis and Brighton, we must have have taken at least £3,000 worth of money, food and clothes to the families of striking miners in South Yorkshire and Kent.

The meeting heard Bro. Luxford's report, after which the branch expressed its deep concern that ex-Sealink travel concessions are starting to be removed. A motion was passed calling on the Executive Committee to resist such moves.

It was decided to retain all 1984's branch officers and standing orders for 1985. Bro. R. Young was nominated for LDC secretary position, our vote was cast, and Bro. Luxford and Bro. Baldock were elected as A.S.L.E.F. reps to sit with the NUR reps to sit with the NUR reps and our Federation committee.

PS. In addition to the 1982 Three Bridges strike badge and Three Bridges unity badges with Snowdon and Hatfield Main NUM (cost £2.25 plus p&p) and a two set Southern Region A.S.L.E.F - Yorks Area NUM unity badge (cost £3.50 plus p&p). All profits to the miners' soup kitchen, then after the NUM dispute, to the A.S.L.E.F. Orphans Fund



MARCH 14th 1985


By Paul Wilenius Daily Express Industrial Reporter

A £100 million bonus farce is exposed today as British Rail heads for a major pay battle.

A Daily Express investigation shows that efficiency scheme to slash rail overtime, has failed.

Overtime payments have increased by 50 per cent to more than £100 million a year. One source said the figure could be as £120 million.

Last night embarrassed rail chiefs were refusing to give details of the failure of the “flexible rostering” system, which BR forced in after three months of industrial strife in 1982.


Critics claim some workers have turned the system to their own advantage, deliberately running trains late so they can claim overtime.

BR will soon be locked in a pay and productivity fight with leaders of 166,000 railmen who are demanding rises of up to 33 per cent.

Rail chiefs are expected to offer 2.5 per cent in the next two weeks.

The railmen would have been offered at least 4.5 per cent, but the industry has lost £250 million through the year long miners’ strike. The unions refused to move coal trains.

A high ranking official who blew the whistle on the overtime farce said; “It is more than my job is worth to come out into the open on this.”

The source complained that the system of flexible rostering - fiercely opposed from the start by the train drivers’ union ASLEF - had been badly thought out.

An official of ASLEF confirmed his claims. He said many drivers were “laughing all the way to the bank.”

They have been earning far more than they did before the system, which scrapped the eight hour day and replaced it with shifts of between seven and nine hours.

Guards and other staff have also been making more money.

The major embarrassment for BR is that it has to pay overtime to drivers and guards when trains are running late. Workers are called in to cover for men who are ill or late. Shift patterns do not match and other workers have to work rest days and Sundays.


Former BR Chairman Sir Peter Parker had expected the flexible rostering shifts to produce great Savings.

Drivers were working on average four hours of overtime a week in 1980. This has risen to 5-8 hours a week.

Although drivers are obviously enjoying the benefits of the system, official ASLEF policy is still to oppose it.

Rail chiefs would find it too embarrassing to scrap the system altogether, but they have held a series of meetings with the unions in an attempt to get it changed.

An ASLEF spokesman said “BR have told us they want get the rosters right, and want to tighten them up. But they will never get them right.” “ The system is a disaster fo the BR board. It is costing them millions of pounds a year."     


Eastbourne Driver Tony Harper Eastbourne Branch Secretary c1985 - c1987 


18th APRIL 1985

On Thursday 18th April a buffer stop collision occurred at London Bridge involving MLV, this led to the blacking of the MLVs by drivers. The accident was caused by with a defective braking system which reduced its effectiveness. All MLVs were banned from solo whilst a programmed of modification was carried.

Dave Knight

Brighton No. 2 Assistant Branch Secretary


MAY 1985


At our February meeting we quickly dispensed with branch business and turned to the pleasant task of presenting to a delegation of miners from our adopted pit, Dinnington, South Yorkshire, an A.S.L.E.F plaque.

In acceptance, Bro Pip Broome (NUM) said that the plaque would be prominently placed in the miners’ club and support, concern and friendship formed during this bitter prolonged strike would be forever remembered and continued.

Next, we presented to Bro. John Thompson an inscribed tankard to mark his transfer from this depot to Bishop’s Storford. John was last year’s excellent chairman and has been a loyal member of the branch: committee man, district council representative and other necessary roles since our inception. It is Bishop’s Storford’s gain and our loss.

On March 20, Bros. Clark, Whittington, Morris and myself visited Dinnington once again. It was at once noticeable that the atmosphere was entirely different from our last visits. The atrocious police presence was gone, the community more relaxed, the pit outwardly working normally. Let it be understood that whilst the immediate battle is over, the deprivation and hardship that the miners have been through has yet to be overcome. Wages in many cases are spoken for before they are earned and it will be long time before normality is restored. To quote Mrs Pat Smith, leads of that magnificent body of women, the Dinnington miners’ support group, Thatcher had done the trade unions favour. She has shown how important the class struggle is, and not least how politically aware the women have became.

During the course of the morning, we visited Thurston, Melty and Silverwood collieries to renew acquaintances and returned to Dinnington miners’ club to find liquid refreshment laid on for us. I am glad to report that we managed to leave the establishment under our own steam - just.


London Bridge have produced a joint solidarity badge with Dinnington NUM. 
The badges cost £2 each from either Drivers J. Wilde or G. Veale.


10th MAY 1985

Involving Brighton driver Mark Capelin

Railway accidents on British Railways

Southern Region 

Central Division


Battersea Park 31st May 1985 
Involving Victoria Drivers John Short & Ron Fox 


JUNE 1985


To those colleagues who have ordered Eastbourne and Seaford strike badges, the Seaford strike has now been received and the Eastbourne strike bade is expected within a month. Badges will be sent out when both versions have been received.

Those who have ordered by mail with payment still outstanding please send £2 each badge plus 50p post and packaging, or £1 post and packaging if a larger.

No orders can be sent until payment has been received.




Steve Sinden Collection

T.W.W. Driver Fred Crampton’s derailment 

at Eridge on Friday 5th July 1985


The Tunbridge Wells to Eridge line closed for passenger services 6th July 1985. 

The Tunbridge Wells West depot remained open until the 10th August 1985. This was due to 
the redundant drivers not be able to transfer to their new until the 12th August this was in 
accordance with the driver’s national agreements regarding Promotion Transfer & 
Redundancy agreements. 

Staff during that time worked the services on the Oxted lines and staff trains were required to run between Tunbridge Wells to Eridge to enable staff to work these diagrams.  


DEPOT 1866  -  1985


April 1906 - August 1985
On the 10th August 1985 saw the closure of Tunbridge Wells Branch of A.S.L.E.& F. after 79 years of existence.




On Sunday 21 July 1985 we at Tunbridge Wells had our last full branch meeting before handing over to our district secretary Bro D. Fullick on Sunday 4 August.

Nine members were present at the meeting. Chairman Bro. K. Knowles opened the proceedings at 10.00 am dealing first with minutes, then correspondence and Ldc reports. Secretary Bro J. Carney with Bro P. Pepper passed a vote of thanks to the present LDC for all their hard work and to those LDC members of the past for steering members along the road of machinery and negotiation. The Secretary then closed the branch accounts and presented the branch with the money for their dispersal.

Badges were then mentioned, an item high on the agenda - only 35 members are entitled to them. It was only right that we had a badge made for those men at the depot since it was decided some time ago that we would only produce one each, I am afraid there are no spares for members from other branches who collect them.

Next on the agenda was the disposal of all branch possessions not belonging to head office. Various items went to members who would make use of them. One, a 1982 Tunbridge Wells West strike special badge went to a late driver’s widow for all the work her husband did during his days at Tunbridge Wells West. The Secretary was given the job of disposing of all unwanted paperwork. The chairman went on to mention some of the past members who have really held the branch together, men whose names when mentioned are remember with respect, respect that they deserve. Men like the late Arnold Brooker, LDC secretary. Another is Fred Diplock, a past branch chairman, and for many years an M.I.C. instructor before MP12 courses came in. These have been people that most of us have had the pleasure working with, and I speak on behalf of all men at Tunbridge Wells, a depot which will be sadly missed, but which will continue to hold many good memories.

I close this report by thanking Sectional council for all their work done on behalf of Tunbridge Wells. I hope the wherever the present Tunbridge Wells go, they keep in touch with each other. don’t forget lads, look out for those reunion parties by planned for the years to come.

All the best to you, my friends.


Last Secretary of a branch with 79 years of loyalty to A.S.L.E.F.

Eastbourne Driver Spud Murphy Sept 1985




I would like to sincerely thank all the badge collectors who purchased various Three Bridges strike badges and unity with the NUM badges.

The badges sold well to start with, but not surprisingly the effect wore off towards the end. Nevertheless, there were twelve different coloured badges in various designs and a total of 2,400 individual badges were produced. Some 75 per cent of these badges were sold and after production costs were deduction the profits of some £800 went to the miners in South Yorkshire (mainly to Hatfield Main). A further £200 went to Snowdown NUM in Kent last Christmas. After the strike was over, a further £ 50 went to Hatfield again to help sponsor a children’s outing to Scarborough which took place on 9 June. The majority of excess badges which were produced were given away free of charge to the miners in Kent and up at Hatfield.

Finally, I still have some badges left. Until now, I have always been able to fulfil orders for badges irrespective of quantity or design (the only problem has been that some badges were produced without numbers due to a mistake by the badge makers), but if no further orders are received in the near future I shall end the operation and give the remaining badges to the miners who we have got to know so well since last summer.

If you would like any more badges please let me know as soon as possible.






It is quite some time since we sent a branch report. Well a lot has been going on in our area in recent months.

It is with regret that I have to report the deaths of Bro E. Penticost and G. Beach. Erice who was very active in the movement until his retirement on health grounds, will be sadly missed. So will little George who was one of the rare characters one meets in life. It does not seem the same in the mess room as he always kept us going. We extend our sympathy to both families.

We have had a retirement party for six of our members who have now reached the end of their railway careers: Bros Bob Croucher, Ernie Richardson, Les Pickett, and Don Pullen, our ex Assistant General Secretary (two members, Bros Stan Fassum and Bob McLean, could not attend as they were on holiday). All were presented with gifts, the Selhurst strike badge and the A.S.L.E.F. certificate. In attendance were Bro. N. Milligan to make the presentations, also Derrick Fullick, our district secretary, and members of our Sectional Council who all came along. They were very welcome and it would be remiss of me not to mention the return of Sectional Council of Billy Williams, our former Executive Committee member whose health has picked up. It is good to see him back in active harness; long may you keep going Billy.

Our thanks to the social committee for the hard work put in by the wives doing the food, John McWhinnie for the disco and to the BRSA Selhurst club for giving us the club for the night.

Our Assistant General Secretary “Big Neil” was in grand form and my personal thanks to him.

On the work front, our depot is still like a displaced persons camp with comings and goins of members and the amount of work work on the new shed. Our LDC secretary Bro Bob Dainty is off sick at the moment and we all wish him a speedy recovery as we need his expertise on the LDC. The number of disciplinary cases are being stepped up so we have to watch it. Also there are more of our members falling by the wayside on health.

The Selhurst strike badge is now ready and any member wanting one should write to me. Price is £2.25 plus postage.



Portsmouth A.S.L.E.&F. Centenary badge 1885 - 1985




The subject of apathy tends to be an embarrassment to those concerned. So it is not an easy subject to talk about.

In times of conflict, such as that of 1982, the brotherhood of our union as at its strongest, not a sign of apathy anywhere. But 99 per cent of the time we are driving trains, not standing on picket lines, and it is during this period that i question the enthusiasm, of the members.

To my way of thinking, every single member of our Society is as important as the next, and it is also important tat he realises that point. Branch meetings are for one and all. If an individual has the right to participate, but due to the apathy doesnt turn up at meetings, our extremely democratic system falters. Each and every member needs to realise that there is more to being in a union than paying his contribution.

Listening to the Frost interview with Thatcher on TV-AM the other Sunday made me even more aware of the fact that the Prime Minister of this country wishes to destroy the unity of working class, and if apathy has anything to do with it she will. Without 100 per cent support from its members, A.S.L.E.F. will collapse and die, and its members will be thrown back into gutters of the 19th century.

We must start looking after one another. Whoever said “I m alright Jack” is absolutely out of order, shallow minded, and morally wrong, no better than those Thatcherites in the House of Commons.

Times are changing and we ought to try and change with them. Even if it takes a little discomfort to readjust, everybody must get involved, become aware of what is happening around them, and help personally towards safeguarding our jobs.

In the very near future, there is going to be an awful lot of retirement taking place on the footplate. Where is the replacement coming from? On £126 basic, God knows. I have an unemployed brother getting from social security. There is no incentive. The responsibility, the shift work, the low income will not attract the kind of professional men that we are, once more undermining our status with unprofessional staffing, and surely that will affect the high standard of safety we have no British Rail.

Some of the men who are close to retirement couldnt care less for the future of the railways, and who could blame them, the way they have been treated over the past 45 years. Maybe they feel they have the right to be apathetic, but they have short memories. Their forefathers fought for better conditions for themselves and the future. Those of us in the service today who feel hard done by, just think for a moment, at least you have had a job all those 45 years of our working life. With that mind, are going to do anything to preserve the jobs of the next generation? I wonder.

Apathy: the death of the working man; beware of it.




(depot and line closed 10 August 1885) 

West Worthing Driver Jim Cameron




The July meeting of the Littlehampton branch was held as always in the Labour club. This meeting was quite well attended, but still attendance could have been higher, especially if it had included those who air their views in the mess room, say they will be at the branch meeting, but then don’t turn up. Remember the impossible can be done, miracles just take a little longer.

One of the items which was raised a lot of discussion was rest day working on the Southern Region. It was felt by member present that before we stopped working rest days, other regions should put their own houses in order and stop working excessive hours over and above their roster for that day - after all we are not breaking any conditions of service. Perhaps of overtime were cut out in those areas where this motion came from, there might be a chance for them, too, to work their rest days. It was unanimous that we continue our policy of working our rest days when requires, but continue to fight against compulsory overtime i.e. on spare turns.

Under any other business, the main topic was the growing amount of signal failures and irregularities which have and are still occurring on the London to Brighton line. One question asked was are the signal boxes being operated correctly i.e. are the signalmen operating them manually and causing extra wear on the equipment, instead of leaving them to be operated by the computer? Or is the equipment itself substandard.

A sign of the times is that there is tendering for jobs and equipment rather than working with one tried and trusted company.Do these signal irregularities occur in other regions? Local management are very secretive about such things; they regard the signal irregularities as something to be expected in this day and age. Anyone who experiences a signalling irregularity is urged to put in a report and send a report to his/her branch secretary for forwarding to head office no matter how trivial they think it might be because the signal went from “green” to “red”, two months latter could well be the scene of something quite different. All the evidence we can gather now could help to clear a driver’s name in the future. Think about it, it could be yours.






A big thank you on behalf of the Three Bridges branch to all those who brought the various types of strike and miners unity badges. The sale of badges is now at the end and the excess money of £300 has been given to the General Secretary to donate to the orphans fund






As a young train driver (I presume I can consider thus at 22) I feel it appropriate for me to comment on the recent statement that young train drivers are more likely to cause accident report, and mentioned in today's Times.

If this is the case, how is it that at more and more engine sheds round the country, "running" duties are being single-manned and drivers' assistants previously employed on these turns are being condemned to sitting in mess rooms gaining little or no practical experience?

Are we to believe that BRB management doesn't know this to be the case, or does it suit for retraining to the grade of driver, and it is self evident that as much of this time as possible should be spent gaining practical knowledge. But I'm afraid this no longer so.

With the old system, not only does the drivers' assistant gain experience; allied to this, and not to be underestimated, is the benefit of a second pair of eyes where they are needed most in the cab.

In the light of the statement it defies me how the BRB can justify its proposal to introduce the trainman's concept, which will have the effect of doing away with the grade of drivers' assistant - to be replaced by what? 

British travelling public beware.



Railway accidents on British Railways

Southern Region 

Central Division


Copyhold Junction 6th November 1985 
Involving Brighton EMUT Drivers Brian Batchelor & Paul Edwards 




It is with deep regret that I report the sudden death of Bro Bryan “Basil” House. Bryan who was a highly respected member of our depot and branch will be greatly missed by us all.

Bryan transferred from Dorchester in the late 1950s to Brighton. He was a regular attender of the branch and was elected to the branch committee in 1983.

Bryan leaves a wife, son and daughter.







Over the past few months there have been a number of comments made about productivity issues that faced this union.

The sad and disturbing fact is how certain members of our union are slowly but surely being brainwashed into believing the British Railways Board’s industrial relations policy of directly linking any and all improvements in pay and conditions to further increases in productivity.

The dangers of this can be emphasised by imagining what would have happened if we had negotiated away all the 1981 productivity items like flexible rostering, DOO on the Bed Pan line, further single manning of freight trains and alterations to PNBs (which were part of BR’s original proposals on flexible rostering) by their original target dates of autumn 1981.

So by Christmas 1981 we would have agreed to all the productivity items that were attached to the 1981 pay award. The good news would then have been that there would have been no strike in 1982. The bad news would have to have found another five productivity items to sell for the 1982 pay rise, and then another five for the 1983, 1984, 1984 pay rises and so on.

It doesn’t take much imagination to work out that any improvements in pay and conditions obtained between 1982 and now would have to have been paid for by even greater flexibility in rostering, almost total single manning (including HSTs), plus unlimited driver only operation and in general thousands of job losses involving A.S.L.E.F. and N.U.R. members.

Well, thankfully back in 1981 we decided not to take the suicidal course of gaining on the swings only to almost immediately on the roundabouts. Remember possession is nine - tenths of the law on this job. What conditions we have got, we should keep; it must be our long term, advantage to progress this way.      



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