Tube Union RMT announced today that it has served notice on London Underground for a strike ballot of all train operator and instructor operator members.
The move is an escalation of on-going disputes over the victimisation of union activists including two driver members - Eamon Lynch and Arwyn Thomas - over their trade union activities.
The ballot will close on 27th April 2011.
Eamon Lynch, RMT Bakerloo Line drivers' health and safety rep, has been sacked by LU and although he remains on full pay following the union's victory on Eamon's behalf at an 'interim relief' Employment Tribunal hearing the company has shown total contempt for the Tribunal process and have upheld his sacking. Interim relief is only ever granted by the Employment Tribunal where there is the clearest possible evidence that an employee has been dismissed on the grounds of their trade union activities.
Arwyn Thomas, a long-standing RMT activist and driver at Morden has been sacked on trumped-up disciplinary charges following unproven allegations made against him by strike breakers. Arwyn has been an RMT/NUR member for over 29 years and has held various positions in the union. Arwyn has also won an interim relief hearing at the Employment Tribunal on the grounds of his victimisation as an RMT activist and has been put back on full pay as a result.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
"With the Mayor and TfL announcing this week that they are increasing their cuts assault from £5 billion to £7.6 billion it is clear that part of their strategy is to attack and victimise union representatives and activists in an effort to try and bulldoze through their de-staffing plans across London Underground.
"The attack on Eamon Lynch and Arwyn Thomas is the clearest cut case of victimisation on the grounds of trade union activities that you will ever see and it's no wonder that the Employment Tribunal was swift to see through the management lies and grant both these members 'Interim Relief' - an award which requires the strongest possible proof that their sackings were down to their union activities.
"Eamon and Arwyn have been victimised for fighting cuts to jobs and services that would turn the tube into a death trap. We are balloting all of our drivers to send out the clearest signal that workers who stand up for tube safety will get the full support of RMT members."
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