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Strike on as Northern line victimisation talks collapse

RMT accuses management of 'complete failure' to engage in discussion

A STRIKE on one of London's busiest Tube lines is set to go ahead on Monday after conciliation talks broke down.

Tube union RMT said there had been "a complete failure of the management side to engage in any serious discussions which could have led to a negotiated settlement" at an Acas meetings.

The dispute centres around the dismissal of a Tube driver in a case of "victimisation," according to the union.

Bosses claim he was dismissed for drinking on duty - but union reps last night said this was "totally untrue."

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT has been pointing out for some time now that a new culture of harassment and misuse of procedures is rife on London Underground at the moment.

"The union will not stand back while individuals are fitted-up and picked off.

"Our member has a specific medical condition and the union maintains that it was the failure to follow agreed procedures and to recognise that condition, that has led to this unwarranted dismissal and the subsequent strike action."

But London Underground chief operating officer Phil Hufton said: "At no point to date has the RMT leadership disputed our alcohol testing process, which is fully in line with medical standards and is representative of best practice in the rail industry.

"I urge the RMT leadership to call off this pointless strike threat and to consider how to resolve this issue. Strike action is inappropriate and unnecessary and will not influence our decision over the failed alcohol test."

Mr Hufton indicated managers would attempt to run a scab service on the Northern line, where pickets will be maintained all day Monday.

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