British Rail Workers Continue to Resist Iraq War


The following report, edited for Labor Standard, is from the web site http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/1835/sw183501.htm

Arms train drivers plan next move

RAIL WORKERS in Motherwell, near Glasgow, have underlined why they recently refused to move a train carrying ammunition for use against Iraq last week. Their action should be an inspiration to everyone who opposes war. At a meeting of their Aslef [locomotive engineers] union branch, Motherwell train drivers discussed the stance taken by drivers working for the EWS rail company. The meeting agreed on a statement that began:

“This Motherwell branch is totally opposed to any conflict with Iraq and the USA’s seemingly headlong rush into war. We also applaud the Aslef leadership’s stance in opposing the conflict. We are also proud of the EWS members at our branch who have intimated that they have grave reservations if required as part of their duties to drive Ministry of Defence trains at this time.”

The statement pointed out that workers at other EWS depots could also be asked to move munitions trains. “We have no doubt that many of these drivers will have similar sentiments to ourselves.” It concludes by demanding “that no EWS member is harassed, victimised or disciplined for taking this action.” And “finally that we, as a trade union and individually, take every opportunity to oppose this conflict.”

There are reports that EWS drivers in Scotland will be asked to move munitions again. With tens of thousands of troops now heading for the Gulf there will also be military convoys moving all across Britain in the coming week. We need to build every protest and every action against this war. And we must make sure the demonstration on Saturday 15 February in London is a huge outpouring of opposition to the war.