RMT names further strike dates in vicimisations dispute

Publication Date: June 9 2011

TUBE UNION RMT today announced strike dates involving all train driver members in the on-going dispute over the victimisation of union activist Arwyn Thomas over his trade union activities and the associated continuing harassment and victimisation of union reps throughout London Underground.

Despite strenuous efforts by RMT, LU have refused to reach an agreement that would reinstate Arwyn Thomas despite his successful appeal for “interim relief” for unfair dismissal at the Employment Tribunal on the grounds of his trade union activities.

As a result, train driver members are instructed not to book on for shifts:

· Between 21.01 hours on Sunday 19th June 2011 and 03.00 hours on Monday 20th June 2011.

RMT has also served notice of further action in light of a continuing failure to agree on reinstatement where drivers will be instructed not to book on for shifts:

· Between 21.01 hours on Monday 27th June 2011 and 11.59 Hours on Tuesday 28th June 2011

· Between 12.00 hours on Wednesday 29th June 2011 and 11.59 hours on Thursday 30th June 2011

· Between 12.00 hours on Friday 1st July 2011 and 21.00 hours on Friday 1st July 2011

Arwyn Thomas, a long-standing RMT activist and driver at Morden was sacked on trumped-up disciplinary charges following unproven allegations made against him by strike breakers. The charges were wholly rejected at his interim relief tribunal in a case that has clear parallels with that of sacked and reinstated driver Eamonn Lynch.

Arwyn has been an RMT/NUR member for over 29 years and has held various positions in the union. As a result of his victory at the interim relief hearing at the Employment Tribunal on the grounds of his victimisation as an RMT activist Arwyn has been waiting at home on full pay for the opportunity to get back to work and do the job that Londoners are paying him to do – driving trains. RMT calculates that the combined cost in legal fees and wasted time and effort keeping Arwyn off work when he should be back in the cab is at least a quarter of a million pounds.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

RMT has made every possible effort to get Arwyn Thomas back to work and it is the intransigence of LU management, who have dragged their heels and failed to reach agreement over the past month, that has left us with no choice to put this strike action on.

This is a clear cut case of victimisation and RMT calls on London Underground once again to stop the delaying tactics, and the continuing waste of hundreds of thousands of pounds that they have thrown at this case, and get Arwyn Thomas back to work.

The massive vote for action by tube drivers in this dispute shows that they are well aware of the consequences of allowing our activists and safety reps to be picked off while we hear daily reports of breakdowns and failures on the network as a direct result of the very cuts that our members have been fighting.”

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