Fresh Tube strike threat looms as RMT mulls escalation of its row with the London Underground over staff dismissal

 
Rebecca Smith
The RMT said the staff member had tackled a fare dodger; TfL said their behaviour fell short of what is expected
The RMT said the staff member had tackled a fare dodger; TfL said their behaviour fell short of what is expected (Source: Getty)

A new strike threat is looming on the London Underground after the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union reacted angrily following the sacking of a worker for tackling an alleged fare dodger.

The union said it was furious after LU upheld the sacking of the employee, who the RMT said stepped in "to stop a violent fare dodger from assaulting colleagues".

Read more: Another Tube strike is looming: RMT ballots over "victimisation of staff"

The RMT is already balloting staff across its London Bridge group for strike action and action short of a strike and said its executive was now considering escalating the dispute further.

However, Transport for London (TfL) says the CCTV coverage it reviewed of the incident did not match the account given by the individual.

Phil O’Hare, general manager for the Jubilee Line, 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.

Read more: Here's when the next Tube strike will be

The RMT's general secretary Mick Cash called it "one of the most appalling abuses of the LU disciplinary procedure that RMT has ever come across" and said his union intends to "fight it all the way".

He said LU had sent out a message to fare dodgers that staff "can be treated as punch bags with impunity".

It followed the announcement last week that the Night Tube is set for major disruption after train drivers' union Aslef and the RMT announced strikes on Saturday 8 April and Saturday 29 April in a row over career progression.

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