Thursday, September 28, 2006

Aslef barred from Labour conference

If you needed (yet more) proof of the increasing distance between the New Labour and organised labour, it appears that a delegation from the train drivers’ union Aslef was refused entry to this week’s party conference in Manchester.

Most of the mainstream media doesn’t find this newsworthy. The only report I’ve come across is a single paragraph in today’s Independent:

‘The Aslef rail union delegation hit the train home after spending a frustrating fruitless five days trying to get a hold of their conference passes. A union source, furious at not getting near the conference, said that they would be billing the Labour high command for the wasted hotel costs.’

An Aslef activist supplies a few additional details in a letter to the Weekly Worker, pointing out that the union donated £43,000 to Blair and Co last year:

‘Despite frantic phone calls to all and sundry, including John Prescott and Hazel Blears, as of writing (Tuesday) they still haven’t got in. The Labour Party blame a computer error, but say they cannot remedy it, as the police are in charge of who gets delegate’s passes.

‘So a national union delegation is barred from conference, disenfranchising 18,000 train drivers and leaving the TSSA as the only rail union on the conference floor.

‘Nice to see democracy is alive and well in the people’s party. I doubt the CBI and associated businessmen were similarly debarred.’

Funny. I thought Aslef were considered cuddly since they got shot of Mick Rix.

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