We were amused to see another edition of the Tube Driver bulletin appear online recently (see bottom of this article), apparently an attempt by some members of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef) to replicate Tubeworker, but with an explicitly sectionalist, driver-only slant. It makes its lack of interest in solidarity with other grades very clear.
This latest edition covers the Bakerloo Line drivers' strike, which it calls "unnecessary". It is essentially a scab-herding leaflet. It stops just short of openly saying "Aslef members should cross RMT picket lines", but that's the message.
Like Tubeworker, Tube Driver is not an official union publication. But it wears its sectional, craft-unionist principles proudly on its sleeve, just as we wear our all-grades, industrial-unionist principles proudly on ours.
Fortunately, however, there are other voices with Aslef that have something different, and better, to say about the Bakerloo strike. The Twitter account of the Aslef West Brompton 226 branch that "if your sister union is on strike, you don't have to cross the picket line". Clearly, then, some people in Aslef understand the importance of cross-union solidarity, and aren't encouraging their workmates to scab.
We appeal to rank-and-file members of Aslef to follow those principles of solidarity, rather than the attitude encouraged by the Tube Driver bulletin.
The two souls of Aslef: