ASLEF members on Croydon Tramlink took a second day of solid strike action on Wednesday May 1st as they continue their fight for a fair deal on pay and conditions. Another strike is planned for Thursday May 9th.
During the course of the day over 50 ASLEF members took part in picketing at the depot at Coomber Way. Even fewer Trams (operated by managers) ran than during our first strike in March.
The mood on the picket line was upbeat with members determined to do what is needed to get a fair settlement.
According to the local press, TfL’s General Manager for London Trams, said: “We urge ASLEF and TOL to continue discussions and settle their dispute without further disrupting customers’ journeys with more strike action”. But the truth is that while we are prepared to talk; Management are not!
ASLEF have written to ACAS to reiterate that we are ready and willing to meet at any time. Instead of engaging in macho posturing, FirstGroup managers, who are responsible for operating the system, should get back around the table to try to find a solution that is acceptable to the women and men who work hard to deliver the service.
The dispute is a result of the companies’ failure to make an acceptable offer in response to our pay and conditions claim. But it is clear that there are many issues, including fatigue, the introduction of new procedures and working practices and rosters that have led to Tram Drivers feeling undervalued and ignored.
Management have to take their concerns seriously and engage with ASLEF if they want industrial relations to improve and avoid a summer of strike action.
The Chief Executive of FirstGroup, who operate the Tramlink system, is on a basic salary of £635,000 plus a pension contribution of 15% and an “annual bonus opportunity of 150% and long term incentive award of 200%” of his salary.
The ASLEF Executive Committee has notified First Tram Operations that our members will strike again on May 9th and May 23rd with more dates to follow if no agreement is reached.
127 ASLEF members were balloted and 114 returned their votes (89.8%)
113 voted Yes to strike action with just one vote against.