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Tube worker at centre of strike row was unfairly dismissed

23 June 2011 #Employment

Further to our Employmentbuddy blog, the Tribunal`s judgment on the case of sacked tube driver, Mr Arwyn Thomas has now been released.
Mr Thomas brought a claim in the Employment Tribunal that he had been unfairly dismissed for Trade Union activities. His employer argued that his dismissal was for gross misconduct but the Tribunal found that his dismissal was unfair.
The dismissal of Mr Thomas and another driver (who has also won a Tribunal claim) Mr Eamonn Lynch had resulted in rail union RMT holding a number of tube strikes over the past two weeks.
The RMT had been seeking the reinstatement of both drivers during negotiations around the strikes, but tube bosses opted to await the Tribunal`s judgements instead.
According to a statement released by London Underground, the Tribunal did not find that Mr Thomas` dismissal was as a result of his union activities. However they did find that his conduct did not warrant imediate dismissal but that another form of disciplinary sanction may have been appropraite. This is what led to his dismissal being unfair.
The Tribunal has the power to order the reinstatement or reengagement of those who have been unfairly dismissed, but they did not do so in this case. Despite this, the RMT are still calling for tube bosses to give Mr Thomas his job back, with the union`s general secretary Bob Crow being reported by the BBC as saying "Throughout this process LU have said that they would abide by the tribunal ruling. All that we are now asking them to do is stick to their word and get Arwyn back to work". Mike Brown, the Managing Director of London Underground was reported (again by the BBC) as responding that the Tribunal had found Mr Thomas contributed to his dismissal and had not chosen to award reinstatement to him.
As a result of the ruling, London Underground is now calling for the tube strikes due to take place over the next few weeks to be called off. Given that the two sides of this dispute are still in disagreement regarding Mr Thomas` reemployment it is looking likley that the strikes will continue as planned causing more travel chaos for London`s commuters.
Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
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