British Rail Union RMT recently confirmed that a ballot was entered into service on London Midland over the victimization of a Revenue Protection Officer fired by the company for resisting a physical and verbal assault by a known troublemaker.
Employee Verbally & Physically Assaulted Acted In Self-Defense
According to RMT information, James Crabtree is a London Midland Revenue Protection Inspector and on the day the incident happened he was serving on the gateline at Watford Junction.
The report notes that he was reportedly verbally abused and physically pushed by a well-known troublemaker when he requested to see a valid travel ticket. The situation rapidly intensified when the lout stood in front of Crabtree and continued the verbal abuse, in the process reportedly spitting chewed up food all over his uniform coat. In fear of being physically assaulted and to protect his own well-being, Crabtree reportedly pushed the aggressive and threatening individual out of the way in a clear act of self-defense.
Company Fired Worker Rather Than Defend
As the story goes, instead of protecting a member of staff dealing with a violent situation in a vulnerable position London Midland opted to level a series of alleged trumped-up and nonsensical charges against Crabtree and, refusing to listen to reason from the union, fired him while the perpetrator got away with it.
RMT has a stated policy of fighting abuse and assaults on rail staff, a commitment clearly shared by London Midland in words only, and as a result of this latest reported travesty of justice involving a revenue protection inspector the union decide to begin balloting RPI members in the southern arm of London Midland. The balloting involved both strike action and action short of strike in pursuit of the campaign for justice for Crabtree and his immediate reinstatement.
Company Has Failed Miserably in Protecting Staff
According to RMT General Secretary Bob Crow, “London Midland display posters at their stations stipulating ‘we always prosecute those who intimidate and abuse or assault our staff.’ Yet the company has failed miserably in their duty of care and support towards James Crabtree. Instead of protecting him, the company has dismissed him in the most blatant travesty of workplace justice – siding instead with a known troublemaker who is the kind of menace who should be barred from our railways
“RMT is clear that the trumped-up allegations leveled against James are unfounded and that the harsh decision taken by London Midland is not only intimidating but highly offensive towards a hardworking, loyal member of staff. RMT has therefore informed the company that a dispute situation now exists between our two organizations and that RMT demand the immediate reinstatement of James Crabtree.
“RMT remains available for talks aimed at righting this appalling miscarriage of workplace justice which sends out a signal to thugs that rail staff are fair game for abuse and intimidation.”
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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