A series of Tube strikes, due to begin next week, have been called off, after the sacked employee at the centre of the row was given his job back.
The three walkouts (four if you include last Sunday evening's mostly ineffectual, mandate-extending strike) were called in May over the sacking of two staff members last year. Strikes in mid-May were averted when driver Eamon Lynch was reinstated, but another series were called in support of Arwyn Thomas, canned for what London Underground described as “unacceptable behaviour” toward other staff. The RMT said that both men were axed because of their union activities, and called strikes for next Monday, Wednesday and Friday — right in the second week of Wimbledon, the rotters!
However, on Wednesday this week, a tribunal ruled that, while Thomas was partly to blame for his dismissal, London Underground should have taken other disciplinary measures short of outright firing, and he was offered his job back.
After talks yesterday, RMT brass Bob Crow and London Underground supremo Mike Brown emerged arm in arm, with tears in their eyes (is this right? Ed.) to announce that the strikes were off.