The saga of ticket clerk Ian Faletto, and his sacking by South West Trains (SWT) has continued, though the media coverage has dwindled this week, and it has been left to the Southampton Daily Echo to carry the flag. Tellingly, the nationals, particularly the Mail and Telegraph, are thus far silent.
Faletto is a member of the RMT union, and with this in mind, the Rev. Alex Russell, whose efforts I discussed the other day, has been on the phone again, this time to RMT top man Bob Crow. She tells that Crow “has put his full support” behind the sacked clerk.
But then, as Mandy Rice-Davies might have said, he would say that, wouldn’t he? The RMT can hardly do otherwise. That Crow has confirmed what the RMT would do for any of its members isn’t exactly earth shattering news, though what the Rev. Russell also had to say was intriguing.
She has told that “a senior RMT official is being denied access to the minutes” of the meetings where Faletto was sacked and then made his unsuccessful appeal. That doesn’t make sense: the union cannot go in to bat for Faletto unless they can see what information SWT are holding, especially as their man would have to bear the costs of an employment tribunal if he loses (unless the RMT will cover them).
But then, the Daily Echo can only report on what it knows. And, talking of reporting on the case, there is then the silence of the Mail and Telegraph to consider. At first this might look as if these national titles are giving up on Ian Faletto, but there is another reason that would make the Mail, especially, hold back.
And that is the presence of the RMT: Bob Crow is a favourite bogeyman for the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre (including being called foul mouthed). For the Mail, nothing, but nothing, can be credited to a trade union, and especially not this one. So I reckon the Mail will sit out this part of the process.
Then, when the RMT have given it their best shot, the Mail can return to the fray. If Faletto fails to overturn his sacking, the hacks will gun for both SWT and RMT, whipping up as much hatred as they can against “elf’n’safety gone mad”, and if the union gets Faletto his job back, the Mail will claim victory while not crediting Comrade Bob.And what of the Telegraph? They’ll take their cue from the Mail, thus confirming that the two titles are after the same kind of stories, but on different sized paper.