Central Line To Be Hit By Strike on Polling Day

RMT taking industrial action after dismissal of union official

Gary Carney was dismissed for allegedly avoiding Drug & Alcohol Test
Gary Carney was dismissed for allegedly avoiding Drug & Alcohol Test. Picture: GoFundme

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The RMT union have announced that they intend to take industrial action on the Central line on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 May.

The dispute concerns the dismissal of a trade union representative Gary Carney. The RMT says he has been victimised by management due to his union activities.

Mr Carney, who has worked at London Underground for 20 years, was sacked for allegedly avoiding a Drug & Alcohol Test. The RMT claims the manager who referred him for a disciplinary investigation made a specific issue of Mr Carney being a trade union representative.

A vote by union members supported strike action and drivers at Central Line depots including White City will not book on for any shifts from 9pm on Wednesday 5 May to 8.59pm on Thursday 6 May, the same day as the mayoral elections.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said, “The sacking of Gary Carney is a blatant case of victimisation for trade union activities and his colleagues have made it clear that they stand shoulder to shoulder with him in this fight for justice.

“RMT will have no hesitation in escalating this dispute if LU don't right this wrong.

“The Union remains available for further talks with the Company”

TfL says it has a legal duty as an operator to exercise all due diligence to make sure people are fit to work, and so treats refusal to complete a test with the same severity as failing a test

London Underground has a planned programme of unannounced testing that aims to test five per cent of operational employees every year. This testing follows defined processes to make sure it is fair, rigorous and consistent and it says these processes have been agreed with the trade unions.

Nick Dent, Director of Customer Operations for London Underground, said, "We are absolutely committed to ensuring that the Tube is as safe as possible for staff and customers at all times, something that is especially important as more customers return to the network following the easing of coronavirus restrictions. We have strict, long-standing drug and alcohol testing policies that have been agreed by all of our trade unions and will always take a zero-tolerance stance as part of our commitment to safety.

“We are disappointed by the RMT's decision to announce this strike action. We urge them to call it off, and we remain open for further discussions. There may be some disruption to customers but we will do all we can to run a regular service on the Central line during this action, should it go ahead. We will ensure that full travel information is available prior to the action so that customers can plan their journeys."

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April 30, 2021

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