Statement on Modern Slavery

ASLEF statement on modern slavery and ethical procurement

The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) is the UK's largest train drivers' union representing approximately 20,000 members in train operating companies and freight companies as well as London Underground and light rail services.

ASLEF's members belong to one of around 180 branches that are spread across the UK. Branches are split into 8 districts, each of which has a District Organiser and Executive Committee member who are elected by members. 

As a trade union ASLEF supports the global momentum towards achieving decent labour standards for all. We welcome the introduction of legislation and guidelines for corporate operations, to combat exploitation and eliminate forced labour. 

Our supply chains

As an organisation with a turnover below £36m ASLEF is not bound by the reporting requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, but we seek to take all of the measures we can to identify, prevent and mitigate incidences of forced labour in our operations and throughout our supply chains.

ASLEF employs approximately 25 people at the Head Office in London and works with suppliers across different industries for the effective running of the union. We do not require a specific team of staff dedicated to procurement, so most staff at Head Office are involved to some extent in sourcing goods and services. We use a range of third party suppliers predominantly based in the UK to procure stationary supplies and printing, IT support, legal and financial advice, conference and hotel requirements, and repairs and cleaning – to name just a few examples.

Our policies and due diligence processes

ASLEF staff endeavor to seek out ethical suppliers who carry out due diligence when procuring goods, so that we can be as confident as possible that they, and their subcontractors, comply with environmental, social and labour law. Where appropriate, staff request information from potential suppliers about the provenance and sustainability of goods to assess their suitability as a provider, favouring those who are responsible, mindful of their impact on the environment, and offer fairtrade products or products made in the UK. 

ASLEF does not use agency staff. Direct ASLEF employees are all legally entitled to work in the UK, are paid above the living wage and have union recognition. We also ask that our main suppliers (regular suppliers, conference venues, etc) can assure that their employees receive equal pay and a living wage.

Our wider contribution

ASLEF offers support to a number of organisations defending vulnerable workers against the infringement of international human rights and labour rights, including the Living Wage Foundation, TUC, International Transport Federatino, European Transport Federation, War on Want, Amnesty International, Liberty, Liberation, Justice for Colombia, and Action for South Africa. 

Our commitment to do more

No organisation can be sure of entirely escaping exploitation along the procurement chain and some areas like the procurement of promotional materials are always high risk. For example, a badge might be printed on in a known site in the UK but the metal or plastic probably come from elsewhere. Conscious of this, we consolidate sourcing our goods and services, aiming wherever possible to only use suppliers who we trust. We could do more, and are committed to doing more.  

  • ASLEF officers encourage employers to set up and implement systems to help staff spot and report incidences of modern slavery and exploitation
  • A checklist of questions has been developed to prompt staff who liaise with potential new suppliers of goods and services.   ASLEF favours suppliers who are able to demonstrate that they meet the criteria.  
  • ASLEF staff and reps are asked to refer to the training resources below on how to identify and report possible incidences of modern slavery and exploitation. 


  1. UK Home Office: Modern Slavery Awareness and Victim Identification Guidance
  2. The Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority: videos
  3. UK Home Office: Modern slavery training resource page (02/04/2020)