A Tube driver at the centre of a dispute between London Underground and the RMT union has won his Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal.
The Tribunal has ruled that Arwyn Thomas was unfairly dismissed by LU because managers failed to explore other forms of action when disciplining him over what LU calls “unacceptable behaviour towards colleagues”.
The RMT has claimed Mr Thomas was sacked because of his union activities.
Speaking after the tribunal’s verdict was announced, RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “London Underground have asked us to wait for the outcome of Arwyn Thomas’s Employment Tribunal and that body has now found that he was unfairly dismissed.
“Throughout this process LU have said that they would abide by the Tribunal ruling so all that we are now asking them to do is stick to their word and get Arwyn back to work.”
Mr Crow said he was seeking “an urgent meeting” with Tube bosses.
On Saturday RMT members held a strike in support of calls to re-instate Mr Thomas and further strikes are planned for next week.
LU Managing Director Mike Brown has urged the RMT “to acknowledge” that Mr Thomas was not sacked because of his union work and to suspend the planned strikes.
Mr Brown said:“The employment tribunal has today ruled that Mr Thomas should have been disciplined for his actions and that his dismissal was in no way due to his activities as a union member.
“This is entirely contrary to the claims made by the RMT leadership in order to justify their strike action. The tribunal has also found that he was 50 per cent blameworthy for his dismissal, and it has not called for his re-employment.”
Brown added: “However, we recognise that despite these factors, the tribunal has found that the sanction used in Mr Thomas’ case was too high. We will therefore now be considering the findings in detail. We would urge the RMT leadership to acknowledge that their claims of union victimisation were false and to suspend their threatened strike action.”
Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly, has called on Mayor Boris Johnson and Transport for London to improve relations with Tube unions.
Pidgeon commented: “London Underground have previously said that if the tribunal cleared Mr Thomas he would be re-instated. I hope that LU bosses will acknowledge the Tribunal’s findings and that the RMT will also call off the further strike action they have planned so London can go about its normal business.”
“It is now time that Mayor and TfL looked to improve industrial relations. We can’t go on like this.”