Tube strikes over victimised activists
Tube union RMT has announced strike dates on the London Underground after members voted by almost two to one for action in a ballot in on-going disputes over the victimisation of union activists.
All London Underground (LU) train driver members are instructed not to book on for any duty that commences:
- between 21:01 on Monday 16 May and 11:59 on Tuesday 17 May
- between 12:00 on Wednesday 18 May and 11:59 on Thursday 19 May
- between 12:00 on Friday 20 May and 21:00 on Friday 20 May
All London Underground train driver members are further instructed not to book on for any duty that commences:
- between 21:01 on Monday 13 June and 11:59 on Tuesday 14 June
- between 12:00 on Wednesday 15 June and 11:59 on Thursday 16 June
- between 12:00 on Friday 17 June and 21:00 on Friday 17 June
Eamon Lynch, RMT Bakerloo Line drivers’ health and safety rep, has been sacked by LU and although he remains on full pay following success at an “interim relief” employment ribunal hearing, the company has upheld his sacking.
Interim relief is only ever granted by a tribunal where there is the clearest possible evidence that an employee has been dismissed on the grounds of their trade union activities. RMT is currently awaiting the outcome of a full tribunal hearing.
Arwyn Thomas, a long-standing RMT activist and driver at Morden has been sacked on trumped-up disciplinary charges following unproven allegations made against him by strike breakers. Thomas has been an RMT/NUR member for over 29 years and has held various positions in the union. He also won an interim relief hearing at the employment tribunal on the grounds of his victimisation as an RMT activist.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“It is the abject failure of LU to recognise that their policy of victimisation of union activists has been well and truly rumbled both in the Employment Tribunal and in their own depots that has left us with no choice but to name these dates for strike action.
“The solution is simple - LU should accept that they have been found out, get these drivers back to work doing the job that they are being paid to do and bring an end to the constant harassment of union activists whose only crime is fighting cuts to jobs and safety.
“The massive vote for action by tube drivers shows that they are well aware of the consequences of allowing our activists and safety reps to be picked off while we hear daily reports of breakdowns and failures on the network as a direct result of the very cuts that our members have been fighting.
“The attack on Eamon Lynch and Arwyn Thomas is the clearest cut case of victimisation on the grounds of trade union activities that you will ever see and it’s no wonder that the Employment Tribunal was swift to see through the management lies and grant both these members ‘Interim Relief’ - an award which requires the strongest possible proof that their sackings were down to their union activities.”
5 May 2011