RMT the railways union confirmed they are to ballot nearly 1400 members on Virgin East Coast Railway over the sacking of a colleague, from his job as a CSA at Edinburgh by the company as a result of what the RMT calls 'a deeply flawed disciplinary matter' regarding a missing Kindle, from a train he was working on.
RMT claim the whole disciplinary process was deeply compromised, and they cite a number of key reasons:
The Union says the original investigation into the missing item was flawed as not every member of staff on duty was interviewed.
The CCTV “evidence” says RMT was inconclusive and has, in any case, been destroyed.
The Union also points out that the Lost Property Procedure was put into the minutes, after the investigation took place and was not produced at the meeting. They also assert that Virgin East Coast management admitted it was out of date in any case.
RMT suggests the only grounds for the members dismissal was on “probability” [the balance of probabilities] which they say is 'entirely subjective' and 'a get-out for management' when they have no concrete evidence to produce.
RMT say they have given the company more than enough time to reconsider the decision to dismiss and they have also been given enough warning that failure to reinstate would result in a dispute situation arising between the union and Virgin Trains. The RMT says "This is the position we find ourselves in now."
The union says it 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 Monday 12th October 2105. The ballot will close on Tuesday 27th October 2015.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash commented: “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 [allegedly] 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.”
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