Just a few days ago, the RMT was rolling up its sleeves in preparation to strike over the sacking of two tube drivers. Some might say that calling a strike before the outcome of an employment tribunal is known may be a tad pre-emptive, but no matter.
One of the drivers at the centre of the battle between the unions and London Underground, Eamonn Lynch, has today won his tribunal for unfair dismissal, posing a dilemma for underground managers over reinstatement or compensation. TfL’s response says that it’s considering its next course of action, though their statement suggests it still considers the broken safety rule pretty significant:
“Whilst the tribunal has made a finding of unfair dismissal it also found… Mr Lynch breached an established and significant safety rule and was in part culpable or blameworthy for his actions.”
With the strikes due to go ahead within two weeks, the RMT is pushing hard for a decision and we can’t help thinking that anything short of a full reinstatement will have the near-inevitable result of a strike, especially as TfL says talks are out of the question until the second tribunal is decided.
The RMT has also announced that it will be balloting drivers on the Jubilee line over safety issues and the seemingly endless unrest between the unions and management is presumably making Boris Johnson uncomfortable given his pre-election promise to end tube strikes, though he now seems to be delegating responsibility for this upwards.