23 passengers, including a child, were trapped in a lift at Elephant and
Castle station for nearly an hour-and-a-half on Friday night.
The passengers’ ordeal, which began
at around 21:30, was prolonged unnecessarily because inexperienced and
inadequately trained managers drafted in to scab on striking station staff had
been left in charge, RMT said today.
In our article on Friday (Tube: action
against harassment) we reported that underground staff would be taking action
for the reinstatement of Jerome Bowes. Jerome was sacked for the crime of
defending himself against a drunken assault on New Year’s Eve. The action was
solid – so solid that the service was only kept running by bringing in scab
managers untrained in safety procedures.
"This incident underlines why
we believe it is irresponsible to leave scab managers in charge of any Tube
station, not least a busy one with lifts," RMT general secretary Bob Crow
"We understand that managers
left floundering by the emergency delayed calling the fire brigade, and that
the fire service eventually responded to a call from one of the trapped
"Under normal circumstances if
it took more than 20 minutes to get people out, managers would be demanding to
know why it had taken so long, and if it took more than an hour they would be
looking for someone to discipline.” Perhaps they should discipline themselves!
The failsafe systems on the lifts
at Elephant and Castle are unusual, but the people normally staffing the
station are familiar with them.
Instead of parachuting in scab
managers without the training, local experience and knowledge to cope when
things go wrong, LUL should be sorting out the injustice to Jerome Bowes that
has led to this dispute in the first place.
Cack-handed management have managed
to give passengers a nasty scare and escalate the dispute at the same time.