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WIGHTLINK staff working on all Portsmouth ferry routes are to vote on whether to take strike action after an RMT union member was dismissed.

In a statement, the transport union said the unnamed worker was dismissed on the grounds that he was a campaigning member of the union.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: ‘Once again RMT finds itself having to defend an elected and accredited union representative, whose only real crime is to continually defend the members he represents, regularly challenging the company and ensuring all agreements are followed correctly.’

But in a counter statement, the ferry firm said it had not been told about a ballot.

It added: ‘We can confirm that an employee was dismissed for gross misconduct pending appeal for flagrant disregard for health and safety likely to endanger self or others and for committing an act likely to bring the company into disrepute.’