Commuters face six days of strikes by Tube workers in a row over the “unfair” sacking of two RMT members which it claims was motivated by their trade union activities.
London Underground has denied the claim and insists one driver was sacked due to “abusive behaviour”and the other because he “over-rode his train’s safety systems and drove the train with complete disregard for established procedures”.
Tribunal proceedings are continuing in both cases.
Six strike dates have been announced for May and June, threatening major disruption to the network
In a statement RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “It is the abject failure of LU to recognise that their policy of victimisation of union activists has been well and truly rumbled both in the Employment Tribunal and in their own depots that has left us with no choice but to name these dates for strike action”
Mr Crow called on LU bosses to “accept that they have been found out, get these drivers back to work doing the job that they are being paid to do and bring an end to the constant harassment of union activists whose only crime is fighting cuts to jobs and safety.”
LU managing director Mike Brown said: “The cases concerned are still going through the employment tribunal process and Transport for London will, of course, respond to whatever conclusions are reached in this process.”
In an interview with ITV’s London Tonight, Mayor Boris Johnson expressed anger both at the union and with the Government for failing to back his calls for strike ballots to be subject to a 50% minimum turnout.
Labour’s 2012 Mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone, called on the Mayor and RMT to “get round the table and resolve their differences once and for all to prevent millions of Londoners facing huge inconvenience and disruption to their journeys.”
Opponets have previously accused Livingstone and running mate Val Shawcross of supporting strike action by the RMT, a claim Shawcross today described as “a slander”.
Mr Livingstone added: “‘Boris Johnson promised a no-strike deal for London but under him strikes have risen and he has not met the unions to try to do anything about it.
“It’s time the Mayor stopped ducking the issue, showed some leadership and acted to cut the number of tube strikes and delays.”
between 21:01 on Monday 16 May and 11:59 on Tuesday 17 May
between 12:00 on Wednesday 18 May and 11:59 on Thursday 19 May
between 12:00 on Friday 20 May and 21:00 on Friday 20 May
between 21:01 on Monday 13 June and 11:59 on Tuesday 14 June
between 12:00 on Wednesday 15 June and 11:59 on Thursday 16 June
between 12:00 on Friday 17 June and 21:00 on Friday 17 June