TUBE maintenance workers employed by Metronet Rail SSL are to be balloted on strike action from 12 February.
Fifteen workers were suspended in October charged with gross misconduct after empty cans of lager together with wine and brandy bottles, covered in weeks of dust, were found in a mess room at Farringdon tube station. Five workers were later dismissed.
The RMT points out that drug and alcohol tests were not immediately carried out on the suspended workers. When the tests were eventually done they were all negative.
Bobby Law, RMT regional officer, says, "Management refused to abide by their own disciplinary procedures, failed to take into account 31 discrepancies in the case and clearly scapegoated five members in order to satisfy the media interest in this matter."
The RMT has produced evidence that the cabin where the drink was found is used by 60 subcontractors, many cleaners, other tube staff and signals and track managers as well as the 15 members of the Farringdon gang.