The media reported today that London Underground have done a U-turn and decided to reinstate the driver they illegally dismissed. They’ve also agreed to have discussions regarding the other driver who is currently taking them to tribunal with a further charge of illegal behaviour. This is great news.
Firstly, because it means that the strikes won’t be going ahead meaning that the passengers are not affected by a situation which should never have escalated as far as this. Unfortunately LUL has a habit of acting illegally and only backing down much later when they realise they’re going to have serious problems. I hope that they will learn from their actions but I’m dubious.
Secondly, because of course Eammon will get his job back. LUL seem to have indicated that they will accept him back in a different position. sixtine pointed out the issues of reinstating an employee where there is a clear breach of trust as in this case. And for many companies that would be right. How could an employee go back to work knowing that his managers had behaved so badly in the past and may try to do so again? How could a manager work with someone they had done something so dreadful to without wondering if they were not going to be hit with all sorts of complaints. It would be difficult to say the least.
Happily, London Underground is a huge company. What I expect will happen is that he will be offered a position on another line and he need never see those particular managers for the rest of his life. If Arwyn’s tribunal also shows that LUL broke the law then I expect he will return on similar terms. The issue of a breakdown of a working relationship will never apply because each line operates as though it were separate from all the rest. Imagine someone transferring from Tesco in Arbroath to Tesco in Truro. There’s no overlap there, the managers are different, the working practices are all slightly different and there’s no chance of bumping into ex-colleagues who just happen to be passing through.
The third reason I’m so pleased is that it will save me money. Not just from pay lost due to not working but also as I didn’t see an RMT rep yesterday I didn’t get around to joining them. Not that they don’t have a point in this case but in general I find that union to be far too militant and quick to react to events. ASLEF are by no means perfect but I am in much greater accord with their ethos than that of other unions. So alls well that ends well and now it’s time for the next drama. 🙂