Aslef, the union representing train drivers, crew and operators has been rocked by the announcement that a breakaway group of disaffected rail workers are creating the Associated Train Crew Union (ATCU).
The news comes as a fresh blow to Aslef who are still coming to terms with the dismissal of its former general secretary, Shaun Brady and resignation of Martin Samways, former union president, following a brawl between the two.
Reported in the Times, founding member Steve Trumm said: “ATCU has been set up as a result of the turmoil of the past few years which has caused massive concerns among drivers.”
Aslef National Organiser Andy Reed dismissed the announcement as no cause for concern stating defiantly that he was ‘massively’ disappointed that anyone had been enticed into a grouping that clearly rejected any form of democracy.
“Over the last twelve months we have had problems with a handful of members who refuse to accept democratic decisions and trade union principles. Some of these have been expelled from the union.”
The rebellious faction, Reed said had the ‘hopeless task’ of attempting to take over the union’s membership.
”They will not be successful because Aslef is made up of members who are decent, responsible and practical.
“I’m frankly surprised that their somewhat pathetic efforts have attracted any media coverage at all.”
Aslef are currently planning a fresh election to vote in a new general secretary to take over from acting leader Keith Norman.
According to the Times, ATCU will be hampered by insufficient funds. Aslef currently has around 16,000 members.