Tube workers’ union RMT has scored two more important victories in its fight against the victimisation of union members.
Sacked drivers Jayesh Patel and James Masango have won reinstatement.
James will be back at work on 14 November, while Jayesh – who has been working a stations job since he was “dipped” from his job as a driver in June — will return to driving trains in February.
The victories came as RMT prepared a strike ballot of all train grade members.
The victories bring the total of successful reinstatement campaigns since December 2010 to eight, an impressive testimony to the RMT’s spirit of solidarity but also a worrying indication that Tube bosses are still attempting to pick off individual RMT members whenever they can.
Activists will be hoping to capitalise on the morale boost from the successful reinstatement campaigns as the RMT heads into a testing time with battles on a number of fronts.
A recently leaked document from Tube bosses revealed plans for a further jobs massacre (see Solidarity 222), and drivers voted overwhelmingly to take action short of a strike in opposition to new safety regulations that reduce the minimum number of staff required to keep a station open.
Unfortunately it will be fighting with a hand tied behind its back on many of these issues after the union recommended acceptance of a four-year pay deal. Without the confidence to fight for a shorter deal, members overwhelmingly, and understandably, voted in line with the union’s recommendation. But the decision does mean that the RMT cannot now launch a fight on pay — the issue with the most potential to unite workers across grades — until 2015, after the Olympics and the Mayoral election.
Elsewhere in the rail industry, cleaners employed by Carlisle Cleaning and Support Services who work on the Virgin West Coast Mainline began strike action on Friday 28 October in a battle over pay and union recognition.
Carlisle’s owner, Impellam Group, increased its profits by nearly 30% last year.