Letter: Rail arbitration

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The Independent Online
Sir: As the then General Secretary of the Society of Telecom Executives and trade union officer on the National Consumers Council, I took the government (nominally Post Office/BT) to arbitration 17 times in as many years.

Why not ask Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) to arbitrate on the rail dispute? If the employer refused, the union's case would be strengthened. Of course, both sides must agree to respect the award. Arbitration largely removes the 'political' dimension from public sector pay. There are lessons for Labour: the option of arbitration makes both sides more amenable.


Petersham, Surrey