Tube drivers belonging to the RMT union have voted to strike in protest at the sacking of a colleague who London Underground claims failed two breath tests.
The RMT says its member “has a specific medical condition and the Union maintains that it was the failure to follow agreed procedures and to recognise that condition that has led to this unwarranted dismissal.”
Strike action was backed by 299 of those voting, with 221 voting against. The union says turnout was 42%.
London Underground had earlier urged members to vote against taking action, insisting the dismissal was inline with its “zero tolerance policy towards drugs and alcohol.”
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said the union will now consult with representatives before deciding its next move in the dispute.
He insisted the RMT “remains available for talks” and was “ready to abide by any decision made at an employment tribunal.”
One London Assembly member said the RMT would be “insulting Tube passengers if they strike over this issue”.
Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commented: “Striking for better pay and conditions is one thing, but striking in defence of an employee who has failed two random breath tests is indefensible.”
“The RMT are the first to give lectures about health and safety when it suits their purposes. It is time that on this issue they practised what they preached and put the safety of passengers first.”