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London Unite union: Strike threat pays off
As well as customers paying more for energy while companies make huge profits, in London, Unite has noticed an increasingly hard line taken by EDF energy when dealing with disciplinary matters against its workers. But the union has scored two important victories over recent weeks.
In the first case, the disciplinary action taken against a worker was to move him to a new role where his wages would fall by £700 a month.
The union pursued the case with the result that an "Independent Person" was brought in, via ACAS to make a ruling.
The result, announced this week is that the punishment has been overturned and the union appeal was upheld.
The second case has more far-reaching consequences. This involved a worker with over 36 years honest service and a clean disciplinary record.
It was alleged that he asked for cash from a client in return for completing a job. Despite his denial of the charge and the fact that there was no evidence to show why he would lie, he was dismissed.
Unite organised a consultative strike ballot. This returned a huge yes vote. The worker was reinstated, all charges were dropped and his pay was restored from the date of dismissal.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab represented both workers and together with the stewards organised the campaign.
He stated: "This is a great victory for workers at EDF and sends a clear message to the employer - we will not limit ourselves to relying on hearings and tribunals to defend our members. We will organise and we will take action."
In The Socialist 7 November 2012: