By Daniel Hunter
Rail Union RMT have confirmed that ballots for strike action and action short of a strike on Heathrow Express over the unfair dismissal of a driver member and over a campaign of harassment and victimisation against an RMT representative have returned overwhelming votes for action.
Nearly 80% have voted to strike in a ballot of drivers over the sacking of driver member Zahid Majid and over 80% for strike action in a ballot of all Heathrow Express staff over the continued victimisation of RMT rep Liaqat Ali. There were even bigger votes in both ballots for action short of a strike.
RMT rep Liaqat Ali has been subjected to a barrage of unfounded, spurious and discriminatory allegations by management and it is absolutely clear to the union that he is being targeted due to his trade union activities and for being involved in organising a solid, fighting union within the company which has led to major improvements in pay and conditions.
Zahid Majid has been dismissed from employment by HEX after a minor error, which he took full responsibility for, and which has led to the company taking unfair and disproportionate action in sacking him from his job.
“The unfair and disproportionate punishment taken by management in both these cases is a total miscarriage of justice and that is reflected in these overwhelming ballot results for action," RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said.
"Management’s behaviour clearly demonstrates their willingness to victimise staff 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.
“In both ballots members have sent out the clearest possible message to the company. RMT has informed Heathrow Express that the union remains available for talks in the hope that management will now see sense and take the necessary steps to resolve this dispute.”
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