2015: 15 Years of Organising for Equality

In 2015, ASLEF celebrated fifteen years of organising for equality. To mark the occasion the union held a reception in Parliament.

The keynote speaker for the event was Lord Cashman, a prolific campaigner for LGBT+ rights and one of the founders of Stonewall.

I am proud to be here today to help ASLEF celebrate 15 years of organising for equality because I remember in the dark days when ASLEF marched with us against Section 28.

Lord cashman

Time was also given to honouring Floyd Doyle, Chair of the BEM Representative Committee, for his fifteen years of service to the Committee.

In addition to the parliament reception the representative committees hosted a fringe meeting at the union’s annual conference which was chaired by Floyd Doyle who had been a member of the BEM Committee from its inception. The General Secretary opened the meeting by presenting Ray Jackson, Chair of the Retired Members Committee, with an award for his long service to the ASLEF equalities agenda.

Simon Weller, ASLEF National Organiser, who has responsibility for equality as part of his role, addressed the meeting about the changes and achievements in equality within the rail industry over the last 15 years. He stressed the biggest problem was the lack of diversity in recruitment within the driving grade, yes the number of BEM and female drivers had increased but at an extremely slow rate and this was the fault of recruitment practices of the train and freight operating companies.

The meeting continued with Trevor Robinson, Secretary of the BEM RC, Ben Wallington, District 8 LGBT RC member and Debbie Reay, Chair of the WRC, each giving reports on the current work of their respective committees.

About 50 delegates sit in rows in a conference room. At the front there is a speaker standing up next to a flip chart pad with a large ASLEF logo.

A special badge commemorating the anniversary was also produced by the joint committees.

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