ASLEF at Labour Party Conference
General Secretary Mick Whelan who had acted as Vice Chair of the National Policy Forum, developing Labour Party policy ahead of the next general election, seconded the policy forum's report to conference on Sunday afternoon. Mick highlighted the positive work that affiliated unions have produced alongside Party leadership to build a set of policies that will represent the biggest boost to working people's rights in a generation.
The New Deal for Working People was a key talking point for ASLEF throughout the conference, and featured in Mick's speeches to the Labour Unions and Morning Star fringe events. We were also pleased to see Party leader Keir Starmer recommit that the New Deal will be delivered in the first 100 days of the next Labour government.
The conference was held in the shadow of the government's poor decision to cancel HS2 north of Birmingham. Mick spoke on our composite motion on investment in rail and the importance of committing to infrastructure projects which help connect up and grow our communities, bringing opportunity to people right across the country.
Louise Haigh, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, also received a standing ovation in her speech when she re-committed to bringing our railways into public ownership.
Fringe events and meetings
Mick also spoke at the Labour and Palestine and Palestine Solidarity Campaign fringe meetings, as well as the Justice for Colombia Fringe and Morning Star rally, and ASLEF met with Labour politicians including Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Apsana Begum MP and Zarah Sultana MP, to discuss future transport policy and how as trade unions we can work with the Party to deliver the best for working people.
Delegates Deborah Reay and Susan Greenwell were joined by Lee James, Cerys Way and Jen Thornton from ASLEF's Policy & Communications Department for Labour Party Women's Conference.
The conference heard from key note speakers and discussed motions relating to equal pay, ending violence against women and girls, international development and women in the workplace.
ASLEF's motion - on securing fair access to childcare for people working shifts - was composited as part of the women in the workplace debate and was passed by conference.