UK: Arriva Bans its Drivers from Wearing Union Tie

Rail unions have attacked Welsh train bosses after drivers were told they could not wear the Aslef union tie at work.

Arriva Trains Wales has told drivers they must wear the company's uniform and are only allowed to wear a union pin badge.

The company's 1,500 staff will begin to receive new uniforms today and Aslef says its 500 drivers have been told failing to wear the company tie could see them sent home and disciplined.

A Wales union official, who asked not to be named, said: "Senior management told us on Monday that drivers wearing the union's blue tie with the Aslef logo or refusing to wear the corporate tie would be sent home and disciplined.

"They're prepared to delay trains and inconvenience passengers while a scarce replacement driver is found out of sheer bloody-mindedness to prove who's boss.

"The public doesn't give a fig what a driver is wearing at the end of the day as long as they have a seat on a train that arrives safely on time.

"It's all unnecessarily confrontational."

Union general secretary Keith Norman said: "It is a tribute to the company that they can manage to discover and hone in on the most insignificant issues at a time of potential crisis for rail in Wales.

"The Government's consultant Roy McNulty is talking about downgrading rural lines and threatening the whole operation of rail in Wales, and what is bothering ATW management? Ties.

"ATWhas decided to spend money issuing drivers with a new style uniform, and in a bid to win over staff are also issuing a warning letter to drivers that they will be disciplined if they wear an Aslef tie. The words 'small' and 'minded' spring to mind."

The company declined to respond to our queries on how much is being invested and whether refusal to toe the company line would lead to suspension or sacking and train delays.

A spokesman said: "Arriva Trains Wales is in the process of supplying staff with a new uniform, including a new company tie, and expects staff to portray a professional image while on duty.

"Members of staff are not permitted to wear a trade union tie whilst on duty but are permitted to demonstrate their TU membership through wearing a pin badge.

"If any staff were to decide not to wear the company tie when on duty, they will be dealt with through normal company procedures."

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