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Message to Drivers in Response to LU Management Letter

  • London Underground is NOT promising to reinstate Arwyn if he wins his Employment Tribunal
  • In fact, LU has explicitly refused to promise this
  • When an earlier Tribunal asked LU management to reinstate Arwyn, they refused
  • We can not trust LU to act fairly
  • LU should resolve this dispute now by arranging Arwyn's return to work
  • LU promised to do this last month but then broke their promise
  • New strike call has put LU under pressure
  • Our reps are not for sale!

LU management are circulating a letter sent by Mike Brown to Bob Crow in the hope that you will swallow their line that they are acting fairly, and to undermine our campaign to secure the reinstatement of sacked Northern Line driver and longstanding RMT rep Arwyn Thomas.

Please be clear that Brown's letter does NOT say that LU will reinstate Arwyn if the Employment Tribunal rules that LU sacked him unfairly. Management probably want you to think this, but there is a big difference between this and what they actually say. This is why LU has REFUSED to promise that it will reinstate Arwyn if he wins his Tribunal case.

Mike Brown's letter only states that LU will reinstate or re-engage Arwyn if the ET issues an order for it to do so - this is a big step on, and a much higher bar, from simply winning the case. When an ET finds that an employer has sacked someone unfairly, it then holds a remedy hearing, at which the employer can argue that it should not have to reinstate the sacked worker despite having sacked him/her unfairly but should have to pay compensation instead. Often, the Tribunal will agree to the employer's request.

LU management probably intend to do this, and probably think they have a good chance of success, as Tribunals are usually very receptive to employers' arguments. In other words, they plan to get away with sacking Arwyn unfairly but not giving him his job back. No union worth its salt can agree to this.

An Employment Tribunal has already ruled that LU sacked Arwyn unfairly and awarded him Interim Relief. That Tribunal asked LU management to take a 15-minute adjournment and to return stating that it would reinstate Arwyn. Management refused to do so. The same management that refused one Tribunal's request to reinstate Arwyn now expects us to rely on them to do differently next time. It would be naive of us to do so.

We do not need to wait for another Employment Tribunal to rule what we already know: that LU sacked Arwyn Thomas unfairly because of his trade union activities. Rather than wait what could take weeks or even months, we want LU to sit down with RMT now and discuss resolving this dispute by getting Arwyn Thomas back to work. LU promised to do this last month, but as soon as we suspended our strike and the newspapers looked away, it reneged on that promise.

Remember: this dispute is not just about Arwyn, it is about all of us. If LU does not reinstate Arwyn and gets away with its sordid attempt to pay him off, that will place a price tag on the head of every trade union rep on London Underground. It will weaken all the unions and will make you and your workmates more vulnerable to being picked on by a management that we all know treats its employees harshly and unfairly.

RMT's resolve, and our declaration of strike action, has obviously put pressure on London Underground. If we keep up that pressure, we can get Arwyn Thomas back to work to the benefit of all of us.