Our Ref: BR4/4/1
5 June 2018
DISMISSAL, K CHALLINOR – NETWORK RAIL MAINTENANCE
You will no doubt be aware of the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of your colleague Kevin Challinor. Kevin’s dismissal related to an unfortunate incident on social media when he posted a personal comment from a personal account regarding a very emotive topic. Almost immediately, Kevin reconsidered his comment and he became aware that it was potentially upsetting for other to read. He retracted the comment and apologised to anyone who had been upset at the comments. The social media account he was using was not one which in any way identified him as a Network Rail employee and nor did he at any point bring his employer into the conversation.
Kevin’s dismissal, after having a 17 year unblemished record, understandably led to anger and shock among you and your colleagues as his punishment was totally disproportionate to any alleged offence, for which he had already apologised for prior to the disciplinary action being taken.
As a result of Kevin’s dismissal, calls were then made for a ballot for strike action among you and your colleagues at Liverpool Central Depot and I informed Network Rail formally that a dispute situation existed.
However, I am pleased to say that Kevin won his appeal and was reinstated to his position of Technician at the depot. I have no doubt that it was the support from his colleagues and the fantastic representation he received at his appeal which led to Network Rail reversing its decision to dismiss Kevin. It was a great show of solidarity and support which is a great example of RMT membership in action.
I would just finally like to thank you all for showing great support for Kevin during this time as it must have been a great comfort to him knowing he had the backing of his work and union colleagues.