ASLEF devoid of comms function as sole PRO quits

Train drivers’ union ASLEF is currently lacking a communications function after its only PRO resigned his post suddenly last week.

ASLEF media and communications officer Andrew Murray left last Friday, just days before Shaun Brady took up the reins as general secretary of the union.

Murray refused to talk to PRWeek about the reasons for his departure, and would not say whether his move was motivated by Brady’s defeat of left-winger Mick Rix in the union’s election for general secretary in July.

Brady also said he could not comment on the reasons for Murray’s departure, but he added that ASLEF would be advertising for a replacement in the next few weeks.

Mick Rix was defeated by the more right-wing Brady in June, a result which went against a recent trend among the UK’s largest unions to elect left-wing and combative leaders. These have included the TGWU, Amicus and Unison.

Brady, a driver with Southwest Trains, defeated Rix by 4,500 votes to 3,200. He started work in the role this week (Monday).

Murray was previously a regular columnist for left-wing newspaper The Morning Star, and is author of several books, including A New Labour Nightmare: The Return of the Awkward Squad and Off the Rails: Britain’s Great Rail Crisis – Cause, Consequences and Cure.

He also protested actively against the war in Iraq and has spoken at Stop the War Coalition rallies.

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