London Underground (LU) drivers are planning to stage another series of strikes in
a continuing row over the sacking of a colleague. The Rail Maritime and Transport
(RMT) union said that its members would walk out on four occasions between June
19 and July 1, threatening travel chaos for millions of commuters and overseas
visitors to the capital.
The union is disputing the sacking of Northern Line driver Arwyn Thomas, who is
currently awaiting the result of an employment tribunal. London Underground,
however, said it was ‘mystifying’ that strikes were being threatened before the
tribunal’s decision was announced.
Bob Crow, the RMT leader, said the union had 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 LU 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.’
An LU spokesman said: ‘It is completely mystifying that, having agreed with LU that
the tribunal process should take its course, the RMT leadership is now threatening
‘We committed in good faith to legal discussions ahead of Mr Thomas’ tribunal.
Unfortunately, no agreement was reached. We have always made clear to the RMT
that we would respond appropriately to the tribunal’s finding.
‘We remain determined to improve the industrial relations climate and have
been working with the RMT to ensure a jointly sponsored independent overview
of disputes takes place. This recent positive engagement makes it all the more
incredible for the RMT leadership to threaten Londoners with strike action once
again, particularly as it was backed by just 29 per cent of its members.’