ASLEF's Equality Work

ASLEF has a genuine commitment to a diverse railway industry, which represents a 21st century Great Britain. Our membership is a true reflection of the make-up of the train-driving grade across the country; we recognise that some groups are still very much in a minority.
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ASLEF Equalities Logo

ASLEF has concerns that the industry as a whole is not doing enough to address the lack of diversity, the train-driving grade continues to fall behind other historically male dominated industries and ASLEF wants to see this end.  We continue to raise these concerns both industrially and politically but improvements have been slow.

The Equality Charter adopted in 2015 is a set of aspirations that ASLEF strives towards:  

  • That any decision made or policy agreed by ASLEF, either internally or externally will be done so ensuring there is no discrimination toward any member.
  • To actively work with TOC’s and FOC’s to tackle the barriers that lead to the under-representation of those with protected characteristics within the industry.
  • Develop and adopt diversity policies and practice which seek to change cultures and attitudes within the industry and of the ASLEF membership, Providing where appropriate training and education on equalities issues to achieve this.
  • To actively work alongside the main and regional groups of the TUC, Labour Party, labour and trade union bodies, NGO’s and other like-minded organisations to promote and defend equality within society.

The union’s equality agenda is underpinned by the work of the national equality committees (representative committees)who organise around young, LGBT+, women, black and ethnic minority members in addition to a Disabled Members Forum and a Retired Members Section.

The representative committees augment the equalities work that ASLEF carries out within the trade union movement and wider political spheres.  The committees work with the General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary, Executive Committee, Company Council and Local Level representatives on raising the profile of minority groups within the union and the development and promotion of ASLEF’s equality agenda.

Each committee has an elected member from each of the eight districts they meet 3 times a year to discuss issues raised in their districts, discuss policy and support local and national campaigns. There is also a yearly joint equality meeting where all committee members come together to discuss shared priorities.  

The union has a growing network of branch equality reps, a role that under rule each branch is required to elect.

ASLEF also has an active role within TUC equality structures attending conferences, equality officer briefings and having representatives elected to the national TUC committees for women, LGBT+ and black workers as well as the STUC black workers committee.

We produce a quarterly e-newsletter called Equally Driven, which summarises the work of our representative committees and branch equality reps as well as reporting on the equality based issues facing our members.

In 2020, ASLEF celebrated 20 years of organising for equality, the union created a microsite that charted the significant events and achievements for ASLEF’s equality agenda over the past 20 years.  You can access the microsite at aslefequalities20.com and look back through the timeline of events.