RMT to ballot over dismissal of train rep with 20 years unblemished service

24th May 2021



Dear Colleagues,


I am writing to members regarding a travesty of justice that has seen our Brother Gary Carney dismissed by London Underground for allegedly avoiding an unannounced D&A test. Members across the Central Line had earlier been balloted for strike action in defence of Brother Carney. The industrial action that had been planned for Thursday 6th May 2021 was suspended in good faith to allow talks to take place at the highest level between RMT and LUL. Unfortunately, the outcome has been that LUL have upheld the dismissal of Brother Carney.

For those members who are unfamiliar with the case, our local representative Brother Carney was taken physically ill on 10th July 2020, having only returned to work a few days previously, having been shielding owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. When Brother Carney sought to report he was unfit for work he was advised that he should present himself for the unannounced D&A test to be conducted.

Given the prevailing health crisis, at the height of a pandemic of a highly infectious illness and having become physically ill with a clinically recognised symptom of Covid-19, Brother Carney left work and began a period of isolation owing to his being taken unwell. Covid-19 tests for both him and his family were arranged.

It is important to be very clear here. Brother Carney's behaviour is not unreasonable given the circumstances, and he acted in the best interests of the safety of others. Upon his return to work following his period of sickness absence he undertook a 'for cause' D&A test which showed a negative result. Brother Carney has over twenty years of unblemished service, and a young family and the consequent caring responsibilities that entails. The crux of the matter is that LUL are alleging that reporting his sickness before Brother Carney had been made aware of the unannounced D&A test is tantamount to avoidance of a D&A test.

In addition to this, an investigating manager made an issue of Brother Carney being a trade union representative during the investigation. As an RMT local representative Brother Carney has selflessly committed himself to ensuring that members are supported and assisted at work. This is a legitimate and commendable activity - a view perhaps not shared by LUL management - but it should have no bearing on a fair disciplinary hearing. Members will be able to draw their own conclusions why all mitigation has been disregarded and management have sought the most severe disciplinary sanction.

LUL Trains representatives have met to consider the matter and were unanimous in requesting that a ballot is undertaken of all LUL Train Op members to seek Brother Carney's immediate reinstatement to his substantive role as a Train Operator. The determination to correct this injustice was made very clear.

Your National Executive Committee has considered the matter and noted that having suspended strike action on the Central Line to allow for a further meeting into this case to take place, LUL have upheld the dismissal rather than resolve the issue and remedy the obvious injustice.

Your NEC has instructed that a fresh ballot is conducted of all LUL Train Operating members. Formal notice of this ballot has already been served on the company and voting papers will be sent to members' home addresses by independent Scrutineer Civica from Friday 28th May 2021 and the ballot will close on Tuesday 29th June 2021.

Members are urged to send London Underground a clear message that we will not tolerate this appalling treatment of our representative and that they immediately reverse their decision!

I urge you all to use your vote. Vote 'YES' for strike action to force management to reinstate your representative who has been unfairly dismissed.



I will, of course, keep you fully advised on any further developments.

Yours sincerely,


Michael Lynch
General Secretary