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Welcome & Editorial - May 2012

3 May 2012

Welcome to the May edition of the Journal, and a look ahead to up-coming events

The ‘Better Rail’ campaign being launched by TSSA this month looks set to pull together a powerful vision of what an integrated, modern railway could look like, stripped of the profit motive and serving the interests of both staff and passenger alike (p10-13). Sadly, this is a long way removed from the split-up and flogged-off railway on the cheap that the current government seems to want to create (comment on p7 and 20-21).

As we look to be stuck with Cameron, Greening and co. for another few years, organising – in our workplaces and in our communities – is vital to ensure we can build towards a brighter future. But sometimes the choices are more immediate: in London, Labour’s candidate for Mayor, Ken Livingstone, represents what can be achieved when you have a mainstream politician ready to listen to those working at the coalface of the rail industry. In his last term he created London Overground, transforming an under-used and decaying service run for profit by Silverlink into the thriving London Overground network, with new rolling stock, visible staff at every station, increased frequency and restored routes. This sounds very much like the vision of a Better Railway that many of us are trying to create. Voting for London Mayor and councils across the UK is on Thursday May 3.

In the middle of this month, TSSA’s Annual Delegate Conference will meet in Cardiff. There is a packed agenda covering all areas of the Association’s work, including a crucial discussion on the way forward following the unsuccessful outcome of the talks with RMT over the possibility of a new union (p4).

The Journal will be covering all aspects of Conference, with live online updates and a daily newsletter. From Sunday 13 May, you can keep track of the discussions at www.tssa.org.uk/conferencelive

Ben Soffa, Editor

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