STOP PRESS: LU sacks worker for having a disability. Reinstate Karen Guyott now!

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Wed, 25/02/2015 - 14:03,

London Underground has "medically terminated" (i.e., sacked) a disabled worker... for having a disability.

Karen Guyott worked as a Customer Service Assistant on Jubilee Line stations. She has epilepsy, but with "reasonable adjustments" was perfectly able to perform her role. The adjustments included restricting Karen from working on live tracks: CSAs never work on live tracks anyway. Her stations have "Platform Edge Doors", which restrict access to the track anyway. Karen was also restricted from working in machine chambers: CSAs never work in machine chambers anyway. So, in other words, her disability only "restricted" her from duties that were not part of her grade's job. There's been no issue for five years.

But LU has suddenly decided that Karen's situation is "unsustainable", and she has been sacked. This is clear discrimination against a worker for having a medical condition.

In October, RMT called off planned strikes because the union secured a promise from the company that any medically-restricted staff affected by upcoming "Fit for the Future" changes would be protected. But LU have used a questionnaire that Karen (along with all other staff) had to fill out as part of the "Fit for the Future" "location preferencing" process as part of their "evidence" for sacking her.

In an obscene twist, LU bosses were doing press work just one day before sacking Karen, puffing themselves up as an ethical employer helping make disability discrimination a thing of the past. One day later, they're helping keep it very much alive.

The company has always said that "Fit for the Future" wouldn't lead to currently-employed workers losing their jobs, and that the planned reduction in the staffing level would be managed through voluntary severance and relocation. That claim has been exposed as nonsense; they have used the "Fit for the Future" process to discriminate against and sack a disabled member of staff.

To win reinstatement for Karen, and for other unfairly sacked colleagues like Noel Roberts and Alex McGuigan, and to slam the brakes on the "Fit for the Future" jobs massacre, we need more strikes as soon as possible.

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