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ASLEF backs sacked TSSA rep in Olympic strike ballot

9 July 2012

The threat of disruption on the West Coast main line during the Olympics grew today when the train drivers union ASLEF announced its support for TSSA in the "union victimisation" dispute at Virgin Trains.

It signalled Virgin bosses against bringing in strike breaking managers in the event of TSSA staff, including controllers in charge of train movements, voting for walkouts during the Olympics.

Mick Whelan, ASLEF general secretary, warned Virgin HR bosses that he was backing the TSSA rep sacked and then suspended without any charges being brought against him and added;

"Aslef has grave concerns over the safety impications of any industrial action by the TSSA for our members and the travelling public.

"Aslef therefore is seeking your assurance that safety will not be compromised and that the control and other safety related safety functions that impact on our members will be covered in the event of any industrial action."

The TSSA is now balloting its 500 members over industrial action in support of their rep, Martin Hodges, based at Virgin Trains HQ in Birmingham.

Manuel Cortes, General Secretary of the TSSA, said: "We welcome the recognition from Aslef that our member is being unfairly treated and their support for the operation of a safe railway in any forthcoming dispute.

"But we have said all along that we want to solve this dispute without recourse to industrial action and we remain open to talks even as this eleventh hour."

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