By a tubeworker
Five London Underground maintenance workers have been sacked after empty beer and cider cans were found at their Farringdon messroom. But they are going to fight for their jobs at industrial tribunals and the RMT union has announced a strike ballot over the dismissals.
Voting papers are going out now and strikes could take place next month unless the five men, who worked for the private sector contractor Metronet, are reinstated.
The RMT is objecting to the men's unfair dismissal.
Drug and alcohol tests on the dismissed men were negative. They were randomly selected for sacking, although the cabin where evidence of drinking was allegedly found is used by at least 60 people who were not investigated or tested.
The five were fired by a disciplinary board on 2 December despite the company's failure to link any of them with allegations of illicit drinking on London Underground property.
RMT regional officer Bobby Law said: "In 20 years representing members across the public and private sector, I've never witnessed injustice on this scale.
"Management has refused to abide by its own disciplinary procedures, failed to take account of 31 discrepancies in the case, and simply scapegoated five innocent employees in a bid to bury a case with high-profile media interest.
"Not one shred of evidence has been produced against our dismissed members. They have been stitched up and sacked by a management which has even sought to blacklist them with other rail infrastructure companies.
"We have sought justice through the disciplinary procedures, but it has been cynically denied us. That is why the RMT is now calling on our members to vote for industrial action in defence of justice for the sacked Farringdon Five."
Workers' Liberty's Tubeworker bulletin comments:
"If we do not win these guys' jobs back, Metronet and other Tube employers will think they have a green light to sack anyone they don't like.
"Metronet staff: vote Yes in the strike ballot. All other staff: support your Metronet colleagues."
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