RMT Executive considers strike action following vote

The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union executive is expected to announce a decision on industrial action today following an overwhelming vote in favour of strike action over the sacking of eight maintenance workers.

The sackings followed the discovery of alcohol in a staff rest room and union members employed by Metronet on track and signal maintenance on London Underground. Union members voted 5 to 1 in support of industrial action following the sackings.

Earlier, responding to the vote, General Secretary of RMT Bob Crow said: "Reports from our members show an overwhelming support for strike action.

"All the people sacked were tested and these tests proved negative for alcohol. There is not a shred of evidence which says these men are guilty. Management must now do the decent thing and stop conducting a witch-hunt, in which if the witch drowns she is not a witch, and if she stays afloat she is a witch.

"Otherwise there will be serious disruption on the Circle, District, Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City and East London tube lines."

Fifteen workers were suspended after a quantity of alcohol was discovered in a staff room at Farringdon Tube Station.

Though seven of the suspended Metronet workers were subsequently re-instated following an investigation, eight of the workers were dismissed following disciplinary proceedings last year.

In January, following the strike vote a spokesperson for Metronet said that Tube users faced disruption because of the actions of "a small number of individuals who flouted basic safety rules”.

Metronet had discovered "a large quantity of alcohol on its operational premises - more than 100 cans and bottles".

The spokesperson confirmed that the company had dismissed the workers on the grounds of bringing alcohol on to operational premises, and not that they were consuming alcohol.


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