RMT members back First Hull Trains strike over sacking

Rail workers have voted to take strike action in protest at the "unwarranted" redundancy of a colleague.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union claims First Hull Trains used "underhand means" to remove the employee after she challenged a manager for verbally abusing a co-worker.

It said 35 out of 38 members who voted backed the strike action.

First Hull Trains, which rejects the union's claim, described the redundancy as "unfortunate but necessary".

An RMT spokesman said First Hull Trains stated the employee had been identified for redundancy as part of a "necessary minor reorganisation" and that she did not fall within "collective bargaining agreements".

However, the union said the employee had been previously covered by collective bargaining agreements during 2014 pay discussions.

'Underhand means'

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "The union's executive committee has considered this matter and deems Hull Trains' failure to abide by the collective bargaining procedures as unacceptable.

"This union will not tolerate any member being removed from employment by underhand means."

A spokeswoman for First Hull Trains said: "Following the unfortunate but necessary redundancy of a Hull Trains employee and the subsequent ballot by the RMT seeking her reinstatement, we were disappointed to learn that trade union members yesterday voted in favour of industrial action.

"We have enjoyed a good working relationship with our trade union colleagues for many years and so it was disappointing not to have received a response from the RMT to our formal offer to resolve the dispute."

RMT said 36 of the members who voted had also backed industrial action short of a strike, with two against.

The union is thought to have around 45 members at First Hull Trains, which employs 108 people.

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