METROPOLITAN Tube line services are expected to be severely disrupted today (21) due to a one-day strike by 77 train drivers based at a Rickmansworth depot.
The drivers, members of transport trade union, ASLEF, are taking action in support of a colleague who was 'unfairly dismissed from train driving' despite having an 'unblemished 33-year record'.
Since being disciplined, the employee has been working on the station platform.
Acting general secretary of the union, Simon Weller, said disciplinary action took place after a female passenger was trapped in a door, injured her leg and was left on the platform at Moor Park station in November 2009.
Mr Weller said: "It was a regrettable incident, of course – but the sanction is totally unfair in this instance.
"The driver had 33 years unblemished service and he was not at fault. The problem was caused by safety deficiencies, especially concerning mirrors, which we had reported regularly to management.
"It is utterly wrong that one of our members should be disciplined because management failed to react to our warnings. Our members are perfectly entitled to react against this flawed judgement – which is why 90 per cent voted in favour of the action."
An 'special' timetable will be operating and all services will be reduced.
The Chesham Shuttle, which solely connects Chesham with Chalfont and Latimer, will not run, however Chesham will have a through service, travelling all stations to Wembley Park.
Services on the Piccadilly line will be increased between Uxbridge and Acton Town during peak hours, while Chiltern Railways will be making extra stops where possible.
The strike action is anticipated to end at midnight tonight.
Nigel Holness, London Underground service director, said: "We are disappointed that ASLEF has balloted for strike action. Any issues that ASLEF have can be and should be resolved through discussions and agreed procedures.
"They have stated this is over a breakdown on industrial relations but have provided no evidence to support this, nor have they raised any issues.
"We are at a loss to know what has led to the strike other than a disciplinary case of one driver who has been temporarily re-graded following an incident in which his failure to follow safety procedures led to a customer being injured.
"We will not compromise on safety, and we would urge ASLEF to call off this completely unnecessary strike action immediately."
What do you think? How will this affect your journey to and from work? Email Gazette reporter Siba Matti at firstname.lastname@example.org