Tube strike 2015: Union bosses call ballot over driver sacked for allegedly failing alcohol breath test

Drivers across all London Underground lines could strike next month

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The Independent Online

Commuters across London could face fresh Tube strikes next month after union bosses called for a walkout in protest over a train driver who was sacked for allegedly failing an alcohol breath test.

The RMT union has called a strike ballot across all Tube lines to begin next Monday, with the result due in on 10 February, the Evening Standard reports. It says 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.

Roughly a third of the 3,200 drivers are represented by RMT, who also staged a 24-hour strike on the Northern line over the issue.

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

“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. 

“Any suggestion of strike action is, therefore, completely unjustified and we urge all staff to reject this unnecessary ballot.” 

The Independent has contacted RMT for comment.