Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blame This Man for the Beer Cans Strike Threat to the Tube; ONE OF THE SEVEN SACKED WORKERS IN DISPUTE THAT THREATENS COMMUTER MISERY

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blame This Man for the Beer Cans Strike Threat to the Tube; ONE OF THE SEVEN SACKED WORKERS IN DISPUTE THAT THREATENS COMMUTER MISERY

Article excerpt

Byline: DANIELLE GUSMAROLI

THIS is one of seven Tube workers whose sacking is behind the threatened strike that could bring misery to millions of commuters.

Perry Robinson and his colleagues were fired after more than 100 empty beer and lager cans and an empty brandy bottle were discovered in their mess room at Farringdon Tube station.

But Mr Robinson told friends: "I have lost my job for something I did not do. I would never drink in those cabins - they are so filthy."

The 42-year-old father-of-two worked for Metronet, the private- sector consortium responsible for maintaining two thirds of the Underground network.

The maintenance men deny the charge and are now at the centre of a rapidly escalating dispute.

They claim they have been victimised as a result of a row with one of their managers.

The RMT union has ordered a 24-hour strike by maintenance workers from 6am on Friday 12 March in support of them.

The strike threatens to cripple large sections of the network.

Union bosses warn of more to come unless the men are reinstated.

A friend of Mr Robinson, who asked not to be named, told the Evening Standard: "He is livid that he has been sacked and insists he had nothing to do with it.

"He has two young children to support and has been saying he cannot believe this is happening. He has said, 'It has nothing to do with me - nothing - it's not fair'."

Mr Robinson believes he was dismissed because five of the workers had signed complaints against a manager after the row last year.

He has said: "We signed grievance complaints against this manager six months ago - now we are all out of the door.

Empty beer cans have been found at other mess rooms before but action has not been taken against those staff. I know we are track maintenance staff but we are not thick.

"We all know the rules about drinking on duty and would not do it. Those cabins are so filthy you would not want to stay in them for a drink."

The workers had all been subjected to alcohol and drug testing last year but all had proved negative, said Mr Robinson.

The strike will affect five lines: the Circle, District, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and the East London line. …

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