Socialist Worker

Tube drivers strike vote over reps victimisation

Issue No. 2249

A strike ballot of all London Underground drivers in the RMT union over the victimisation of reps was to end on Wednesday of this week.

Bosses have recently sacked Eamon Lynch, an RMT Bakerloo Line drivers’ health and safety rep, and Arwyn Thomas, a driver at Morden, on disciplinary charges.

Both won “interim relief” Employment Tribunals, which is only awarded in cases where there is clear evidence that employees have been dismissed due to their trade union activities. They remain on full pay after this award.

The RMT believes that their sackings are part of a management plan to weaken the union as they try to drive through cuts.

The impact of the cuts to jobs and maintenance was seen on the service last week, in what the union described as “24 hours of tube hell”.

The Jubilee Line was plunged into chaos on the Tuesday evening after a power shutdown and faulty rolling stock and operating systems. This saw over 1,700 passengers having to leave their train and walk through sweltering tube tunnels with the assistance of station staff.

The line remained in disarray the following morning.

Later that afternoon, the Waterloo and City Line was hit by a communications fault and the Central Line was shut down during the rush hour. Other lines were also severely disrupted.

Bob Crow, the RMT general secretary, said, “London mayor Boris Johnson needs to call an immediate halt to the jobs and maintenance cuts.”

The RMT has organised a members’ meeting in central London on Wednesday of this week to discuss the ballot result against victimisations and the plan of action.

In a separate dispute on the tube, the RMT, the TSSA and Aslef unions have all rejected bosses’ multi-year pay deal.

Heathrow Express

RMT members on Heathrow Express are to ballot for industrial action over pay. The union has rejected a two year offer, describing it as “unsatisfactory”.

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Article information

Tue 26 Apr 2011, 17:53 BST
Issue No. 2249
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