Tube train drivers are to vote on strike action following a row over victimisation.

All members of the RMT union will vote on plans to walkout following the sacking of two drivers, Eamon Lynch of the Bakerloo line and Arwyn Thomas of the Northern Line.

Both men are committed members of the RMT union.

The ballot result will be revealed on April 27 – two days before the Royal Wedding.

The union must then give seven days notice if they wish to carry out industrial action, which means a strike could take place the following week when London is still full of tourists.

Lynch and Thomas have been granted “interim relief” by an Employment Tribunal which means they will remain on full £45,000 a year pay until full hearings take place.

London Underground says Thomas was sacked because of “abusive behaviour” towards his colleagues and Lynch because he “over-rode his train’s safety systems and drove the train with complete disregard for established procedures.”

But the RMT thinks they were dismissed because of their role within the union. London Underground denies this.

RMT Leader Bob Crow said: Mr Crow told the Evening Standard: “With the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) announcing this week that they are increasing their cuts assault from £5 billion to £7.6 billion it is clear that part of their strategy is to attack and victimise union representatives and activists in

an effort to try and bulldoze through their de-staffing plans across LU.

“The attack on Eamon Lynch and Arwyn Thomas is the clearest cut case of victimisation on the grounds of trade union activities that you will ever see and it’s no wonder that the Employment Tribunal was swift to see through the management lies and grant both these members “Interim Relief” – an award

which requires the strongest possible proof that their sackings were down to their union activities.

“Eamon and Arwyn have been victimised for fighting cuts to jobs and services that would turn the tube into a death trap. We are balloting all of our drivers to send out the clearest signal that workers who stand up for tube safety will get the full support of RMT members.”

A TfL spokesman said: “It is absolute nonsense to suggest that these individuals were dismissed unfairly due to their union activities, and it is disgraceful that the RMT leadership is now choosing to ballot when both cases are still going through the employment tribunal process.

“The RMT leadership only achieved a very weak mandate for strike action in defence of these drivers. We know that the vast majority of drivers work safely with the utmost respect for passengers and their fellow workers at all times.”

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