Service Control Victimisation

by Kebba Jobe, RMT health & safety rep, LUL service control

In February, Jo Duffy was re-elected RMT representative, but his local Service Control Manager refused to recognise his position, despite the fact that a local rep had been negotiated for Jubilee line service control eight years previously and they had recognised me when I was the rep for five of those years!

A campaign of bullying was then levelled against Jo, with his Service Control Manager bad-mouthing him and criticising his work. Not once did the manager formally speak to Jo about his performance or take disciplinary action.

On 18 August, Jo was in charge of the Jubilee line as Service Manager when there was an incident involving the Platform Edge Doors at Canary Wharf station. Jo used his knowledge and experience to work around the problem to offer a solution that was safe and in customers’ interests, preventing a loss of service at Canary Wharf and ensuring no further disruption. A service controller on duty disagreed with Jo’s course of action and reported this to another Service Manager. An investigation recommended that the matter did not warrant a CDI.

Despite this, the Service Control Manager, who has taken a dislike to Jo, suspended him from work on full pay on 15 September pending another fact-finding interview, despite Jo having been allowed to continue in his safety-critical role for a month. The Service Control Manager has told Jo’s colleague Service Managers that he was going to send Jo to a CDI before the interview happened: a blatant pre-judgement.

Jo is the target of management bullying, intimidation and victimisation, born of a dislike for Jo’s work as a union rep, his campaign to improve working conditions and reduce staffing cuts in service control. This situation has had a detrimental effect on Jo’s wellbeing, causing him stress and anxiety. He is a lone parent of two young children who needs his job to support his family. His ‘caring’ manager is aware that Jo recently lost his mother.

It is despicable that this sort of behaviour by management is allowed to go on in this day and age.