RMT Offer To Call Off Driver's Strike Ballot If LUL Respect Employment Tribunal Decision - Tube Bosses Say No

Further to my letter dated 12th January regarding the above, members are aware that your Union’s Executive Committee has taken the decision to conduct a ballot of all Train Operator and Instructor Operator members over this issue. The ballot notice was sent to the Company yesterday, your voting paper will be sent out on Monday 26th January 2015 and must be returned for the closing date of Tuesday 10th February 2015.

You will also have received a communication from London Underground yesterday trying to convince members not to participate in this ballot and any subsequent industrial action. As members are aware, the decision to escalate this issue was taken following a resolution from the London Transport Regional Council and Finsbury Park Branch and various meetings including all RMT Reps. The feedback received from members presented a strong and clear desire to step up the fight against this unfair dismissal of your colleague and RMT activist with 29 years’ unblemished service on the job. It is therefore of no surprise that London Underground is pulling out all the stops to try to mitigate the impact of this campaign.

As always, RMT remains available for discussions to resolve any industrial dispute and as far as we are concerned, this matter is no different and strike action will always be the last resort. We did go to talks at ACAS to try to reach a position where the previous industrial action could be suspended but these talks broke down due to a complete failure of the management side to engage with Union officials. Our offer to call off the action in return for a commitment that the company would honour any employment tribunal decision to reinstate Brother McGuigan was also rejected.

Likewise, progress over this dispute was hampered by a statement made by TfL Commissioner Peter Hendy that Alex McGuigan was found to be drinking at work. This statement was quickly withdrawn along with a written apology and acceptance that the allegation is NOT TRUE. As we are all aware, London Underground has a well-known policy that you cannot drink anything during the 8 hours before you start a shift and Brother McGuigan abided by this rule and did not drink during the 8 hours before his shift started. He booked on for the shift as normal but did not undertake any train driving duties.

Throughout this case, management has failed to listen to us and in turn, has failed to listen to the views and wishes of you and your colleagues as well. Instead of giving fair consideration to defence or mitigation, the Company is determined to sack effective trade union activists. This is becoming an issue across the whole of London Transport and must be resisted by all means at our disposal.


Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary

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