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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Northern Line Tube Strike Driver Strikes Out

Tube Strike - Northern Line Driver -  Evening Standard bill boardDriver at centre of Northern Line Dispute attacks photographer

The Evening Standard must have been rubbing their hands with glee when their photographer turned up on the doorstep of the driver who was the cause of the Aslef unofficial wildcat strike. "Robert Rankin reacted furiously when approached at his home hurling a bucket of water at the Evening Standard's photographer, Andrew Stuart, who was also punched several times in the head by a youth believed to be related to Mr Rankin".

You see it doesn't pay to mess with some of these union members. As The Standard reported a few days ago and I posted, there was an unofficial strike on Monday 9th January about the dismissal of the "furious" driver who according the The Standard "speeds, sleeps at the wheel and he sparked a LU strike".

Northern Line Wildcat Strike Driver


Northern Line Wildcat Strike Driver - Full Evening Standard StoryThe sacked driver "threw a bucket of water at the reporter and photographer before emerging from his house brandishing a baseball bat, which he did not use. Police took statements from reporter Mattheus Sanchez and Stuart, who suffered bruising".

Some Aslef members from the depot at Morden were in support of Mr Rankin who went through London Bridge Station at 29mph (almost six times the speed limit) in August. He also went through a red light and apparently told a hearing that he fell asleep at the controls.

Rankin's colleagues are claiming there will be further strikes on the Northern Line if the London Underground do not reinstate him, as they believe that London Underground did not follow correct disciplinary procedures by sacking him.

We have already been discussing this in earlier comments, but the driver's latest behaviour has now certainly outshadowed the RMT's official tube strike which took place over the 8th and 9th of January. Bob Crow (RMT union leader) must be spitting even more feathers, as his strike had minimal impact on the system with only 21 stations being closed in peak hours of the RMT strike!


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