RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it is to ballot nearly 1400 members on Virgin East Coast over the sacking of a colleague dismissed from his job as a CSA at Edinburgh by the company as a result of a deeply flawed disciplinary matter regarding a missing Kindle from a train he was working on.
RMT is no doubt that the whole disciplinary process was deeply compromised for a number of key reasons:
- The original investigation into the missing item was flawed as not every member of staff on duty was interviewed.
- The CCTV “evidence” was inconclusive and has, in any case, been destroyed.
- The Lost Property Procedure was put into the minutes after the investigation took place and was not produced at the meeting and was admitted by management to be out of date in any case.
- The only grounds for the members dismissal was on “probability” which we is entirely subjective and a get-out for management when they have no concrete evidence to produce.
Despite the best efforts of local representatives and the Regional Organiser who attended an avoidance of disputes meeting with the company, the original and flawed decision to dismiss was upheld by the management.
RMT has given the company more than enough time to reconsider the decision to dismiss and they have also been given enough warning that their failure to reinstate would result in a dispute situation arising between the union and Virgin Trains. This is the position we find ourselves in now.
As a result the union has no alternative but to distribute voting papers to all those in the company working in onboard catering, guards, station and ticket office grades on
The ballot will close on
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“This flawed dismissal is a gross injustice based on no evidence whatsoever and should be overturned immediately. This union will not sit back while our members are fitted up and dealt with in this disgraceful fashion.
“We have no option but to begin balloting across Virgin East Coast from Monday for both strike action and action short of a strike. The union remains available for talks.”