Saturday night out may be difficult to get home from
London Underground will be hit by more industrial action this weekend with drivers striking over the sacking of a colleague who failed alcohol breath tests.
The strike may hit services on Saturday evening although its short duration means that any impact is likely to be limited.
RMT union members will walk out from 9.30pm on Saturday March 7 until 3.59am on Sunday March 8.
London Underground said it had zero tolerance towards drugs and alcohol but the union has described its policy as “outdated and flawed.” They claim that the testing did not take into account that the driver who failed the breath test had diabetes. London Underground say that the type of test they use in not affected by high acetone levels in the breath which can give elevated results for diabetes sufferers.
RMT general secretary, Mick Cash said: “This action is the first stage as part of a rolling programme of industrial action and I urge all RMT London Underground train operators and instructor operators to stand firm together against this and any future injustices against RMT members.”
Nick Brown, London Underground’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “This indefensible strike is about one RMT driver dismissed for failing two alcohol breath tests. We will not be swayed by it as we will never compromise on the safety of our customers and staff. You wouldn’t let someone who had been drinking alcohol drive your family in a car, and we don’t let people who have been drinking alcohol drive people’s families in Tube trains.
“Less than a quarter of the RMT members eligible to vote for strike action did so. For the RMT leadership to announce a strike regardless shows how completely out of touch they are, just as the timing demonstrates that they know they have very little support from their members on this issue."
42% of the membership of RMT voted and the result was 299 votes to 221 to strike. London Underground say that this represents just 8% of drivers on the network.
March 6, 2015