Rail dispute ‘further away’ from being resolved, union leader warns

A union leader has warned that the bitter strike on the railways is further away from being resolved than when it started last year. Mick Whelan, general secretary of the Aslef train drivers’ union, was asked by the Transport Select Committee to say how close, on a scale of one to 10, the situation was to a resolution. He replied: “I think you can include zero. We’re further away than when we started.” Mr Whelan also criticised the way an offer was made by the Rail Delivery Group last Friday, saying it was leaked to sections of the media first and contained details which “smashed” agreements with the union. Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union general secretary Mick Lynch said: “We haven’t got an agreement. Until we get an agreement we’re not close to it.” He said nine clauses were added to an offer made last month, describing it as “sabotage” and blaming the Department for Transport. Mr Lynch also made it clear that his union would never accept driver-only operation (DOO) on the railways.