Socialist Worker

Union wins tube dispute as worker reinstated

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2258

The RMT transport union called off strikes on London Underground this week after bosses were forced to reinstate sacked driver Arwyn Thomas.

An Employment Tribunal last week ruled that Arwyn was unfairly dismissed.

Management then offered Arwyn a different job, but on a train operator’s pay and conditions.

This humiliating climbdown comes after sacked RMT rep Eamonn Lynch also won his Employment Tribunal and management agreed to reinstate him.

Tube drivers in the RMT had voted overwhelmingly to strike in Eamonn and Arwyn’s defence. Many saw the attack on them as part of bosses’ plans to weaken union organisation on the Underground.

Drivers struck on Sunday evening of last week to activate the ballot. With even more hard-hitting action planned to disrupt the tube this week, bosses were forced to move.

“Four RMT members were dismissed during the last dispute and we’ve now all been reinstated,” Arwyn told Socialist Worker.

“It took the threat of industrial action to get Eamonn Lynch and myself reinstated.

“Management tried to renege on the agreement over me but the RMT said the strikes were back on over the issue.

“The strikes this week would have been coordinated with other groups of workers on 30 June. We saw ourselves as part of this movement—and this is its first victory.”

Management and London mayor Boris Johnson are still intent on cuts to the network.

The unions will need to be prepared to resist, and defend their members and the service to the public.

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Article information

Tue 28 Jun 2011, 17:57 BST
Issue No. 2258
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