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RMT confirm further action at Heathrow Express

 

RMT confirms further action on Heathrow Express over sacking of driver and continuing victimisation of RMT activist
Publication Date: March 16 2012

Following two rock-solid strikes that led to cancellation and disruption of all Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect services, rail union RMT today announced an escalation of industrial action in support of sacked driver Zahid Majid and victimized RMT representative Liaqat Ali;

RMT HEX members have been instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-


· 03.00 hours and 12.00 hours on Saturday 24th March 2012

· 11.00 hours and 23.00 hours on Sunday 25th March 2012


Members are also instructed not to volunteer for any turns of overtime between the hours of 03.00 and 12.00 on Saturday 24th March 2012 and 11.00 hours and 23.00 hours on Sunday 25th March 2012.


In discussions with ACAS, RMT disclosed further evidence that despite the fact that Liaqat Ali was completely cleared of all allegations a HR manager is now attempting to put further allegations against him in his personal file. This continued vindictive attack on our elected representative has effectively sabotaged efforts to resolve the dispute as he is not being allowed to 'return without prejudice'.


It also clearly demonstrates that 'certain' managers feel they can attack and undermine union representatives at will. RMT cannot accept this and serious questions are now being asked about the conduct and role of certain managers in this whole affair.


The concerns of the RMT Negotiation team remain:


· Liaqat Ali must be allowed to return to normal duties without prejudice and further attacks.

· HEX must agree to end attacks on Trade Union Representatives.

· Staff must not be suspended on anonymous and unfounded (potentially malicious) allegations.

· HEX must commit to abiding by their own procedures


The company declined to even consider discussing the reinstatement of Brother Zahid Majid despite having told RMT that this dispute was now negotiable under ACAS. RMT feel completely misled and this is an act of serious bad faith which has undermined the dispute resolution process and forced us into an escalation of the industrial action.


RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said;


“Instead of using the ACAS machinery to negotiate a settlement, Heathrow Express have instead opted to ratchet up their attacks in an act of blatant provocation.


“The unfair and disproportionate punishment taken by management in both these cases is a total miscarriage of justice and that is reflected in the overwhelming ballot results for action. Management’s behaviour clearly demonstrates their willingness to victimise staff and union representatives at the slightest provocation and no doubt they see this as payback for the successful building of a strong and militant union organisation within the company.


“RMT members have been rock solid in the previous two days of strike action and forced the total cancellation of Heathrow Connect with HEX reduced to a skeleton service operated by scab managers with serious safety implications The time has come for the company to stop the posturing and union-busting and to get serious about reaching a negotiated settlement.”

 

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