Latest Rail News

01.12.14

Northern Line drivers strike over sacking

Tube drivers on part of the London Underground (LU) have started a 24-hour strike over the sacking of a train operator, whom the RMT union says has been “victimised” but LUL says failed an alcohol breath test. 

RMT union members on the Northern Line started the walk-out at 04.44 this morning, with the action finishing at 04.43 tomorrow (Tuesday). 

The RMT suggests Alex McGuigan’s case is exceptional because he has diabetes, which can interfere with the test. Eamonn Lynch from the RMT said: “Alex was dismissed for failing a breath test. LUL were aware he has type 2 diabetes and the probability of registering a false positive was known. But LUL destroyed the urine sample that would have given a definitive answer.” 

The RMT explained: “An appeal hearing was held, but the decision to dismiss Brother McGuigan was upheld and in line with the agreed machinery, RMT general secretary Mick Cash has met with LU Managing Director Mike Brown and a Director’s Review of this matter has also now taken place but so far, Brother McGuigan has not been reinstated.” 

Acas negotiations failed last week. 

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “Our members are standing rock solid, shoulder to shoulder with their victimised colleague and as we have said all along the union is determined to secure a just and fair outcome to this dispute.” 

LU said a ‘good service’ is being operated on the Northern Line today despite the strike action. Phil Hufton, LU’s chief operating officer, said: “We have been clear from the outset that the RMT had absolutely no basis to take strike action after one of their members was dismissed for failing an alcohol breath test. This strike is inappropriate and will achieve nothing whatsoever.” 

However, Cash argues that reports of a ‘normal service’ are nonsense “as special bus services are being set up in a desperate bid to ease the pressure”. 

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to in... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >