Workers at Wightlink prepare to take action to defend ‘victimised’ rep
RMT is to ballot for strike action and action short of a strike all members on Wightlink’s Portsmouth routes over the victimisation and unfair dismissal of an RMT union representative.
The rep, who cannot be named at this stage for legal reasons, was dismissed by the company on blatant and trumped up charges when his only real crime was actively supporting his members and following the democratically agreed policies of the union.
Specifically, he had been instrumental in leading a union campaign against the imposition of new rosters and highlighting management deficiencies which had led to the intervention of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency on the grounds of safety.
A local manager took exception to the strong campaigning role of the union and as a consequence bulldozed through dismissal on the grounds of the most minor of infringements.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “Once again RMT finds itself having to defend an elected and accredited union representative, whose only real crime is to continually defend the members he represents, regularly challenging the company and ensuring all agreements are followed correctly.
“The events leading up to our member’s dismissal appear farcical and clearly show an employer jumping at the opportunity to remove an effective representative.
“As a result, and in order to obtain justice in the face of this blatant victimisation, RMT will commence an immediate ballot for strike action and action short of strike covering all Wightlink [Guernsey] Ltd members who work on the Portsmouth routes.
“RMT remains available for talks and we will pursue all channels to obtain justice in this case.”
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