Sacked train driver gets £16,000

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A woman train driver, whose dismissal sparked a chain of industrial action after she claimed she was sacked for her union activities, accepted a £16,000 payment yesterday in settlement of her case.

But Sarah Friday, 35, will not be reinstated by South West Trains after an employment tribunal ruled that she was 66 per cent responsible for her dismissal. The tribunal in Croydon, south London, dismissed her claim of discrimination and victimisation but decided she had been unfairly dismissed.

A company spokeswomansaid: "We always said we would respect the decision of the tribunal and we believe that £16,000 is a small price to pay to bring this episode to an end."

A spokesman for the Rail, Maritime and Transport union said: "We are disappointed that Sarah Friday has not been reinstated but the settlement is a victory for her and for the union and will make South West Trains think twice in their dealings with employees in the future."

The dispute over the sacking of Ms Friday, from Gravesend, Kent, led to a series of strikes on Waterloo services earlier this year. Ms Friday had been a health and safety representative for the RMT.