Strike while the iron is hot!

The RMT has called a further days strike action for Saturday 15th of January in the campaign to reinstate Eamonn Lynch. The solid strike on December 18th shutdown the line and showed management that all drivers on the line know that sacking Eamonn Lynch is an injustice too far.


Just in case management still haven’t worked it out, drivers shutdown the line because:


• every driver knows that Eamonn made an error. This was not a wilful error it was only a mistake which was compounded by the wrong instructions from the Network Rail Signaller and the Bakerloo Control Room;
• that that there was a comparator case on the Piccadilly line where the driver committed a worse offence than Eamonn and was given a 12 month caution;
• that the Signaller and the Control Room staff who issued the wrong instructions were not disciplined;
• that even an Employment Tribunal Judge ruled in Eamonn’s favour;
• that Eamonn has been discriminated against on the grounds of his role as a health and safety rep;
• that if management get away with this then no one is safe.

These are the reasons that the strike on the 18th of December was rock solid. Management on the Bakerloo Line thought they could get away with this sacking without a whimper from the work force. Instead the roar from the drivers on the Line has reverberated throughout the combine. Support and respect for Bakerloo drivers solidarity shown on the 18th has flooded in from every quarter of the tube.


In response, management have deployed petty and pathetic tactics to get back at us. From ‘return to work interviews’ to pulling drivers for taking a quick pnr at the Elephant, these vindictive actions have just made the drivers more angry.


These are classic examples of management out of touch with the workforce; of a company who think they are above the law.


This behaviour is because Bakerloo Management have been shown up with their bosses at Broadway. They thought they would run a service but the solidarity on the Line put paid to that notion. Now the bosses at Broadway are aware of the strength of feeling on the line.
RMT?General Secretary, Bob Crow wrote to HR Director Gerry Duffy on December 10th requesting a Directors Appeal. Bob not only appealed on the grounds that Eamonn was unfairly and unlawfully sacked but because the rulings from the CDI and Appeal panels have said that drivers can no longer be reduced in grade as a possible sanction because there are no jobs on the stations. This is a new development on the line and is unacceptable to every driver on the combine. What are the chances in a 20 or 30 year career driving trains that you will not make a mistake? This development is fundamentally intolerable and is in affect a change to our existing terms and conditions.


London Underground’s chief operating officer, Howard Collins has said that calling a strike for Saturday is “outrageous”. What is outrageous is the unlawful victimisation of health and safety rep Eamonn Lynch. That is why the union has called further strike action.


Drivers on the Bakerloo Line will not allow discrimination in the workplace, we will not stand by while any colleague, regardless of union, is treated in the disgraceful way that Eamonn Lynch has been treated.


Management have the opportunity to overturn this injustice and stop the strike going ahead on Saturday. All they have to do is call the Director’s Appeal and let common sense and the law prevail.


Unity is strength.

From London Calling – the website of the London Transport Regional Council of the RMT