Justine Greening’s Commons statement on schools – Politics live

For twenty years ASLEF has been at the forefront of pushing for diversity in our industry. We have run campaigns to encourage more women to become train drivers, we have a women’s section in our union, and a dedicated official at head office lobbying the train companies every day.

But the truth is that we can only recruit as members the people the privatised train and freight operating companies choose to recruit as drivers. The train companies, not the trade unions, control the recruitment process. And they have been very slow to listen to what we say and join the 21stcentury world of work.

And he appears to have conveniently forgotten that, in 2011, when he was transport secretary, we wrote and asked for the public sector duties of the Equality Act to apply to train companies and Theresa Villiers, the transport minister, wrote back and said “No”. On his watch!

Philip Hammond wallows in his own little world but it is, frankly, shameful that he doesn’t know more before he opens his mouth. His ignorant and ill-informed comments do nothing to help this industry, or his government.

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