A series of planned strikes by the RMT union have been called off after London Underground agreed to reinstate a driver who won a Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal.
Yesterday a Tribunal ruled that Arwyn Thomas was unfairly dismissed because managers failed to explore other forms of action when disciplining him over what LU calls “unacceptable behaviour towards colleagues”.
The RMT has always maintained Mr Thomas was sacked because of his union activities – a claimed denied by LU and not upheld by the Tribunal – and was due to hold a series of strikes next week as part of its campaign to have Mr Thomas reinstated.
In a statement issued on Thursday evening, the union confirmed the strikes had been called off after Mr Thomas was re-instated “with a lesser punishment.“
LU say Thomas has been appointed to a new non-operational role “which does not involve customer facing duties” and that the union has agreed not to ballot for industrial action in any future employment disputes until all other options, including ACAS talks, have been exhausted.
Managing Director Mike Brown said: “The settlement that we have reached ensures that Mr Thomas’ re-instatement is on a basis that recognises the seriousness of his offensive behaviour.
“It also allows us to move forward towards a more constructive relationship with the RMT, whereby Londoners should not be threatened with strike action relating to such individual tribunal cases in the future.”
Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly, welcomed the decision to call off the strikes and said the resolution of the dispute “is the perfect time for the Mayor to sit down with the unions and work out a long term solution to the industrial relation problems that plague the Tube.
“It’s time the Mayor and Transport for London got serious about industrial relations on the Tube.”