Why strike to demand LU reinstate Arwyn Thomas before the Employment Tribunal decision is published?

RMT's ballot mandate to hold strikes expires after 20 June, so the law forces us to take action before then. But we are also striking the following week, rather than waiting for the decision of Arwyn's Tribunal. Why?

Although the Tribunal hearings have concluded, we do not know how long we will have to wait for it to publish its decision. The earliest is 27 June; it could be as late as September. Neither Arwyn, nor his union workmates, should have to wait this long for justice.

RMT has recently revealed that around £250,000 of public money has been spent on LU's campaign of victimisation [details here: http://www.rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/node/2231]. While we wait for the Tribunal result, thousands of pounds each week are added to this scandalous total. We have a strong argument, which is winning wide public support, that LU should put a stop to this appalling misuse of public money by reinstating Arwyn now.

We have momentum behind our campaign for Arwyn's reinstatement now. London Underground's promise to resolve his case is fresh in people's memories, with a real feeling of anger that LU backtracked as soon as one day's newspaper headlines became the next day's chip papers. Naming action now has put the issue right back into the headlines; failing to do so would have allowed it to fade away, leaving LU confident to refuse to reinstate Arwyn even if he wins his Tribunal.

Moreover, we do not need to wait for this Tribunal's decision, because we already have a Tribunal decision! Back in January, the Employment Tribunal awarded Arwyn 'interim relief', ruling that LU had sacked him unfairly, unlawfully and because of his trade union activities. [Read RMT's press release here: http://www.rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/node/1968; read the Tribunal's decision here: http://www.rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/node/2176]

That Tribunal, having ruled in Arwyn's favour, invited LU management to take a 15 minute adjournment and offer to reinstate him. Management came back to the Tribunal and stated that they would not do so. As LU management refused the request of one Tribunal to reinstate Arwyn, why should we trust them to reinstate him if yet another Tribunal asks them to?

Employment Tribunals do not have the power to compel an employer to reinstate an unfairly-sacked worker. Even if it upholds the 'unfair dismissal' claim, the Tribunal does not have to order reinstatement; and even if it orders reinstatement, the employer is allowed to refuse to comply! London Underground says that it will only abide by the Tribunal's decision if it finds that LU sacked Arwyn "solely" because of his union activities. But as LU knows very well, Tribunals do not make rulings like this - they always find that the person has contributed to their dismissal in some, however small, respect. LU has no intention of reinstating Arwyn simply on the basis of a Tribunal result - so why would we wait for, and rely on, that Tribunal result before taking action?

LU is now telling the press that RMT agreed to allow the full Tribunal process to "run its course". The truth is the opposite: LU and RMT agreed to try to resolve Arwyn's case without having to go through with the Tribunal process. It then reneged on this, refusing to even discuss re-employing Arwyn, knowing that this stance would prevent a settlement.

We forced LU to reinstate Eamonn Lynch by naming bold and imaginative strike dates (before we knew his Tribunal result), combined with campaigning pressure. We are now doing that again, to ensure that we win Arwyn's reinstatement too.