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London Underground staff to be balloted for strike action in dismissal row

London Bridge workers are due to stage a 24-hour strike this weekend.

London Underground station staff are to be balloted for strikes in an escalating row over the sacking of a colleague.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union will vote in the coming weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.

Workers based at London Bridge are due to stage a 24-hour strike from Sunday evening in protest at the dismissal of a colleague the union maintains was tackling a violent fare dodger.

The RMT had warned it would spread the dispute across the Tube network if the worker was not reinstated.

London Underground disputes the union’s version of the incident in which two other workers were disciplined.

In a message to union members, RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “It was the worst case of multiple miscarriages of justice by London Underground as these members were subject to a vicious assault by a violent fare-evading passenger but instead of being supported and commended by the company, they have instead been wrongly punished.

“LU widely publicises a zero-tolerance approach to violence against members of staff but that promise has not been applied at all in this case. Furthermore the company has failed in its duty of care to its staff and has disregarded its own staff assault policy.”

Voting will start on May 10 and end on the 25th.

Brian Woodhead, operations director for London Underground, said: “The version of events described by the RMT union is simply untrue.

“CCTV footage from a number of different angles clearly shows a staff member displaying unacceptable conduct when dealing with a member of the public. The member of staff was dismissed following a full and thorough investigation. ‎

“We have subsequently invited the general secretary of the union to view the footage himself, but our invitation has not been accepted. That offer is still open and, while we intend to keep London Bridge station open throughout the strike, I encourage the RMT leadership to do the right thing and call off this unjustifiable industrial action.”

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