Jerome Bowes dispute: the fight continues
The following article is from the Bakerloo Branch newsletter:
The battle for Jerome Bowes' job goes on, writes Regional Organiser, Brian Whitehead. The RMT is now taking Jerome's case to industrial tribunal. As you will remember Jerome was suspended and then sacked by LUL for defending himself against a drunk and violent member of the public who had already assaulted him. The support that Jerome has on the Charing Cross group was shown by the absolutely solid two days of strike action taken by all our station staff members on the group. He was also backed by TSSA members who respected the RMT picket line.
Management tore up the rulebook in their attempt to keep the stations on the Charing Cross group open during the strikes, bussing DSMs into the group who had never worked there before and had no idea what they were doing. Allowing these so called managers to do double shifts without a break and covering up serious safety issues that were the direct result of their incompetence. The union's health & safety reps are still trying to get to the bottom of an incident where passengers were trapped in a lift at Elephant & Castle. The managers on site, it seems where too busy calculating their overtime payments to be worried about this life threatening situation.
Meanwhile, a ballot to bring out train operators was narrowly lost after a dirty tricks campaign was carried out at Elephant & Castle. During the ballot a fake RMT circular was distributed which contained stills from the CCTV footage of the incident involving Jerome and his assailant. The edited stills came with a running commentary claiming that Jerome had been the instigator of the assault. Worse still, some DMTs at Elephant have made the ridiculous claim that the circular was distributed by Bob Crow. This is a lie! This was clearly an attempt to influence the outcome of the RMT ballot. A collective grievance to management has now been put in about these incidents and has made a request under the Freedom of Information Act to find out who had access to the CCTV stills file. So far management have stonewalled, claiming that such an investigation should wait until after Jerome's tribunal hearing. Let us be clear, all the incidents mentioned above will be investigated by the RMT and the union will not hesitate to pursue anyone involved in illegal activity against our members. Furthermore, none of this has deflected the union from the task of getting Jerome Bowes reinstated. The fight goes on!