STILL NO JUSTICE - Appeal sends Zak Khan to stations

The result of Zak Khan’s twice postponed appeal was finally given at a meeting on Thursday 12th February: the company decided to re-employ Zak as a CSA at Waterloo station with a 52-week suspended dismissal still hanging over his head and to take away his licence. With the company still around 120 drivers over establishment across the combine this is a heavy financial punishment with little chance of him returning as a driver after 52 weeks. Also the slightest mistake on the stations within the next 52 weeks could see Zak thrown to the wolves again.

Asked how he felt about the decision, Zak said, “I’m gutted, especially knowing that people have done worse and got off with only a caution! “Why discriminate against me this is a £17k pay cut”.

Reinstatement or else

Clearly, the outcome to Zak’s appeal represents a step forward from the dismissal of a few weeks ago, thanks to the work of RMT rep, Dean O’Hanlon, in exposing the many weaknesses in management’s case and also to the strength of feeling amongst drivers who were ready to ballot for strike action to secure justice for our colleague. However, it is not enough. We made it clear at the outset that nothing less than full reinstatement as a driver (albeit with a caution and necessary action plan) would be acceptable and fair in the circumstances; this has not happened. It’s now clear what was going on behind the scenes when management kept postponing the appeal decision: they were calculating what they needed to do to avert a strike without actually giving Zak his job back. They figured that giving Zak a job as a CSA would do it. Very smart, but we’re not falling for it. The strike ballot will go ahead and you should be receiving ballot papers within the next couple of weeks. All RMT members at Acton Town will also be balloting for action. If you believe in justice and fair play, you should vote YES. A big YES vote is vital if we are to concentrate management minds – please inform your local rep if you do not receive a ballot paper.

In the meantime the branch overwhelmingly supports Zak and a directors appeal is about to be requested.