TUBE STAFF could escalate industrial action after bosses upheld the dismissal of a worker allegedly assaulted by a fare dodger, rail union RMT said yesterday.
The worker intervened to stop a “violent” passenger from assaulting colleagues, the union said. Two other workers were disciplined over the incident.
Staff at London Bridge Tube station, where the incident took place last November, were already being balloted for industrial action over the incident.
RMT said the station staff had faced a serious assault from the fare dodger. A pregnant worker was reportedly punched in the stomach and the sacked member of staff was punched twice. The assailant also trousered another worker’s glasses.
The staff member who initially challenged the fare-dodger for a ticket was accused of “inciting or provoking an incident” and disciplined.
After the sacking was upheld, RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “This was a shocking, violent incident and those that bore the brunt of it should have been supported and commended by the company.
“This is a disgusting and sickening outcome and RMT intends to fight it all the way. As well as our ballot of staff [across London Bridge station] our executive will look at escalation of the dispute over a case that will send shock waves throughout London Underground.
“London Underground have flouted their own zero tolerance policy, their own duty of care to their staff and have sent out a message to fare dodgers and yobbos that staff can be treated as punch bags with impunity.”
Jubilee Line general manager Phil O’Hare said: “Following an appeal process the decision to dismiss this member of staff was upheld.
“Our investigation into this incident included reviewing extensive CCTV footage. We are satisfied that his conduct on that day was not in line with the standards we expect from our staff.
“We take a zero tolerance approach to violence against our staff, but similarly expect our employees to adhere to acceptable standards of conduct and behaviour when dealing with members of the public.”