Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers’ union (RMT) on the London Underground could soon ballot again for strikes against bosses’ long-standing policy of sacking or disciplining union members for minor offences.
After a hard-fought campaign that won reinstatement for Eamonn Lynch and Arwyn Thomas, and after Central line driver Tunde Umanah had his dismissal overturned on appeal, ballots for action may be in the offing to win justice for Bakerloo line driver Jayesh Patel (downgraded to a Customer Service Assistant after he was charged with gross misconduct following an incident that would normally never be charged as such) and Victoria line driver James Masango, whose Employment Tribunal on 17 August found that he was unfairly dismissed after bosses forced him to work when he was not fit to do so. Both cases date back several months.
Jayesh’s branch has submitted a request to the national union for a strike ballot, and the union’s General Grades Committee (the body of the Executive which has sovereign power over industrial action) has already endorsed the view of James’s branch (Finsbury Park) that the campaign to win his reinstatement should move to industrial action.
It has instructed the General Secretary to make necessary preparations for a ballot.