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Friday 16th November 2012 | 12:02
RMT press release:
RMT to ballot across Scotrail for action over victimised member
RAIL UNION RMT confirmed that it has begun a ballot for strike action and action short of strike of all Scotrail members over the victimisation and dismissal of a member whose only "crime" was to assist a member of the public in ensuring they had the correct ticket for a journey in line with company policy.
Ballot papers will be despatched to members today (Friday 16th November 2012) and the ballot will close on Thursday 29th November 2012.
RMT member Scott Lewis was dismissed by Scotrail for allegedly making "unwanted contact with the passenger". In fact Mr Lewis was adhering to the company's own procedure in assisting the passenger and operating the policy in event of non-payment of a correct fare. Management claim that he put the passenger in a state of alarm, but in reality Mr Lewis was just trying to help him purchase the correct ticket. Management have not been able to produce a shred of evidence to prove that Mr Lewis was harassing this passenger or that he failed to comply with correct procedures.
Scott Lewis has worked on the railway for 19 years and in that time he has earned a number of commendations. It is clear to RMT that Scotrail are using their agreed prodedures to attack and victimise their own staff. RMT now have support from ASLEF, Unite and the TSSA to either suspend or withdraw from the Scotrail Assaults on Staff policy, on the basis that the statement of a loyal and hardworking member of staff, clearly following the company's own procedures, is not believed.
RMT is demanding the immediate reinstatement of Scott Lewis and the union's executive has instructed an immediate ballot of all our Scotrail members in his defence for strike action and industrial action short of a strike.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
"Scott Lewis has been victimised and sacked for trying to help a passenger within the written procedures set out in Scotrail's own policies in what is an absolute travesty of justice. RMT will not sit back and watch while our members are picked off in this fashion by a management who think that they can fire staff without as single shred of evidence to support their case.
"Scotrail are completely abdicating their own duty of care to their staff who are out there working for the company in often difficult conditions. Their ignorance of the basic facts in this case is breath taking.
"Our members across Scotrail are angry and so are members of our sister unions who can see just what an attack on staff this case represents. We will be calling for a massive yes vote for action in this ballot and would call on Scotrail to see sense, reinstate Scott Lewis and show some understanding of just how brutal and unwarranted this victimisation and sacking of an innocent member of staff truly is."