THE RMT rail union is fighting the case of Lee Cornell, who was sacked by London Underground (LU) for defending himself from an abusive and aggressive fare-dodger at London Bridge Underground station. Two of his colleagues who came to his aid have also been disciplined.
The union says that LU disregarded the fact that Cornell and two other staff were physically and verbally assaulted by the customer whom Cornell is accused of accosting. Cornell was punched twice and had his glasses stolen by this person.
The Jubilee line branch will be requesting a ballot for industrial action to defend Cornell, Saed Souissi and Dave Sharp if necessary.
The three Customer Support Assistants (CSAs) have been sent to a Company Disciplinary Interview (CDI) following an incident with a fare evader in November 2016.
The fare evader assaulted three members of staff, one was pregnant. She was pushed in her stomach. This evader also stole a pair of glasses from a CSA who needs them to drive to visit his sick mother.
Cornell, who was punched twice and whose glasses were stolen, was sacked by LU for preventing himself being hit and for getting his property back.
Saeed Souissi was given a suspended dismissal for defusing the situation no less than three times when this evader wanted to punch and head butt other members of staff.
London Underground said he should have reported the incident on his iPad and watched his colleagues being assaulted.
Dave Sharp has been accused of "inciting or provoking an incident”. He asked a customer if they had touched in with an oyster/card or had a ticket.
Senior union reps have stated this is the worst case of punitive disciplinary they have ever seen. The fact the workplace violence forum agrees that staff are entitled to take reasonable steps to protect themselves and their property was disregarded.
RMT says workplace justice must be seen to be done. Failure to deliver justice to the London Bridge Three will result in Industrial action.