Aslef accuses RMT of people poaching

A fierce row has broken out between the rail industry’s two main unions, after Aslef – the body representing train drivers – accused the RMT of trying to poach its members.

Aslef, which has about 18,500 members, has threatened to report the RMT’s actions to the TUC and cease all communication with a union that, it said, has “proven itself untrustworthy, deceitful and dishonest”.

In a meeting at the TUC last year, the two unions appeared to resolve any differences and agreed to work together to achieve full membership of all workers in a union “within our traditional spheres of influence”.

But Aslef has now accused the much larger RMT of reneging on this agreement.Keith Norman, Aslef general secretary, said: “We are being attacked because we are strong, united and effective in a way the RMT cannot achieve. It would be better off spending time organising itself rather than seeking to poach our members.

”Norman said he still hoped the RMT would honour the promises it had made previously.

“I want to work with all unions in the rail industry,” he said.

An RMT spokesman refused to deny the claims. “RMT is an all-grades industrial union that abides by TUC principles,” he said.

A TUC spokeswoman said: “The TUC is aware that there are a number of problems between the two unions. We are seeking – informally – to try to find a way of resolving the differences.”

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