Heathrow Express strike dates are set

A Heathrow Express train at Paddington Station in London
Image caption Heathrow Express said it was open for discussions with the union

A union has announced strike dates on the Heathrow Express rail link in a dispute over a sacked driver.

The Rail Maritime and Transport union said 24-hour walkouts will take place on 26 February and 11 March, and a 48-hour stoppage from 3 March.

The dispute, involving up to 250 staff, follows the sacking of a driver and the suspension of a union representative.

The company said the suspended employee had returned to work and the driver had been dismissed fairly.

The RMT union said Liaqat Ali, had been subjected to a "barrage of unfounded, spurious and discriminatory allegations by management".

The union also claimed Zahid Majid was dismissed from employment by Heathrow Express after a minor error, for which he took full responsibility.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "The unfair and disproportionate punishment taken by management in both these cases is a total miscarriage of justice and that is reflected in the overwhelming ballot results for action."

A spokeswoman for Heathrow Express, which runs services between Paddington and the west London airport, said it hoped union members would recognise the employee had been dismissed fairly in accordance with union policy.

"As always, we remain open for discussions with the RMT," added the spokeswoman.

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