London commuters may face fresh Tube strike next month

London Underground Station

London Underground Station. Image by Rudi Riet / CC BY 2.0

London Tube commuters could face further strikes next month after union leaders called for a walkout in protest at the sacking of a rail driver for allegedly failing an alcohol breath test.

The RMT union is seeking a strike ballot across all Tube lines beginning next week, with the result due in on 10 February, the Evening Standard reports.

It warns that a 24-hour walkout could begin as early as Tuesday, 17 February.

The strike is in protest over the decision to dismiss a driver when he allegedly failed a random alcohol breath test during an inspection in June before going on duty.

Around 1000 of the 3200 drivers are represented by RMT, who also staged a 24-hour strike on the Northern line over the issue, reports the London Independent.

However, London Underground’s (LU) Operations Director for the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines, Nigel Holness, said it has a zero tolerance policy towards alcohol and said the employee failed the random test twice.

Mr Holness stressed: “He subsequently conceded that he had consumed alcohol prior to his shift. Had he taken control of a train as he intended that day, the individual’s choice to consume alcohol prior to commencing work would have put his customers’ and colleagues’ lives in danger. “

He add that any suggestion of strike action was, “completely unjustified and we urge all staff to reject this unnecessary ballot.”

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