Socialist Worker

Rail Workers

Issue No. 1873

Sacked for following his doctor's orders

TUBE DRIVERS in the RMT rail union are balloting for strike action at Edgware Road depot over a driver who was sacked while on sick leave.

'I did what my doctor told me and I got the sack for it,' Chris explained, 'They ignored all the evidence.'

After injuring his ankle, Chris was told to work out in the gym, jog and play squash. Drivers need to be able to get down onto the track in an emergency and Chris's doctor insisted that he get his ankle as fit as it was before the injury.

Then London Underground stopped his wages and spied on him.

Managers admit that they spy on one in three workers who are off sick. The investigators saw him at a squash court.

Chris told them that squash was part of his rehabilitation. He produced two letters from his doctor and one from his sports injury therapist that proved this.

But London Underground took this as an admission of guilt and sacked him after getting their own doctors to say he had made his injury worse. But their doctors had never even spoken to him or seen his medical records.

Chris was sacked under a 'code of conduct' that has never been issued to staff, something that even a manager said was scandalous.

Edgware Road activists have already started campaigning. Petitions, posters, newsletters and meetings have pressured the union into calling a ballot.

Industrial relations are bad on the tube and this ballot comes as a dispute is looming over pay.
TONY COLLINS, tube driver

Heathrow Express

WE WERE planning to go ahead with our second 24-hour strike, set for last Friday. Just before the strike the company approached us for talks.

We suspended the next strike, planned for last Sunday.

The branch is set to meet on Friday of this week. The rumour is that our demands have been met. We negotiated with management for two years.

Just two days of strike action seem to have won us what we want.

We had two main demands. Firstly, we wanted management to negotiate with the Aslef union. Secondly they wanted to limit us to negotiating about pay. But our members have shown they want the union to negotiate on other issues.

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Article information

Sat 18 Oct 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1873
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