Cross Country tries to gag union over sacking of Edinburgh RMT member

by Voice Reporter As the Voice went to press, rail union RMT accused Cross Country trains of trying to ban the distribution of fact sheets for the public and staff as the union continues balloting Cross Country staff at Edinburgh Waverley for both strike action and action short of a strike over the wholly unjustified dismissal of union member Charlie Letham.

In a letter, which is a measure of just how rattled the company are as the truth of their brutal treatment of Mr Letham comes under public scrutiny, they threaten to use the Railway Byelaws and to bring in the police to try and block the dissemination of official union material publicising the facts behind the dispute which has led to the current strike ballot.

Charlie Letham has been dismissed by Cross Country for allegedly missing his revenue targets despite the fact that the company procedure quite clearly stipulates that any underlying issues shall be taken into account when the “CRISP” assessment is applied.

This was very clearly important in the case of Mr Letham who has suffered from medical and personal problems. In fact, both his GP and the company doctor made several recommendations to the company to assist them in aiding our member in the workplace.

However, management simply refused to acknowledge Charlie Letham’s underlying health problems and ignored the recommendations from the medical professionals before proceeding to sack him.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT is appalled that rather than sitting down and resolving this dispute Cross Country has chosen to resort to threats and intimidation to try and gag the union and prevent the dissemination of the facts which have forced us into this strike ballot.

“Charlie Letham has been a loyal union member for 15 years and has done everything he can to continue working in his normal capacity. However, Cross Country management decided that the easiest solution was to dismiss our member despite the weight of medical evidence.

“This is not a situation that can go unchallenged and is a shocking abuse of power demonstrated by the company management. As a result, the union’s executive committee has decided to ballot our all our Cross Country members at Edinburgh Waverley for strike action and industrial action short of a strike, to force the company to re-employ Brother Letham.

“RMT remains available for talks aimed at resolving this dispute, talks which would make a lot more sense than the issuing of these provocative and inflammatory threats by the company.”

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