London Underground has been accused of institutional racism against white staff after an Irishman won the latest ‘Jellygate’ case.
Transport for London (TfL), which runs London Underground, was accused of institutional racism by a union official after an employment tribunal ruled that a station supervisor had suffered racial discrimination.
Tom Mahoney, a manager at Caledonian Road station, won his case after the tribunal decided that London Underground had discriminated against him on the grounds of his race after he complained he had been intimidated by a black colleague, Daniel Jean-Marie.
Mahoney had alleged that his accusations of bullying were not acted upon because he is white.
His union representative, Kevin Byrne, of the RMT, said: “This is a systemic problem that could be seen as institutional racism against white employees.”
But a TfL spokeswoman said: “We take very seriously any accusation of discrimination, and always strive to treat all employees fairly and equally. London Underground is a very diverse organisation and our employee surveys show high and improving employee satisfaction.
“We will be studying carefully the full details before deciding how to proceed,” she added.
Mahoney told the tribunal that Jean-Marie burst into his office and started taking photographs of him which, the Irishman feared, would be used to smear him as a racist. “I was very shaken. I felt it was to intimidate me and I became very concerned about my personal safety and that of my family.”
The tribunal said London Underground managers’ approach to the case was “sceptical and resistant”, and that the complaint was dismissed after a “sub-standard” investigation. It recommended that the “long-serving and loyal employee” should be given an official apology on top of the £6,000 he was awarded for injury to feelings.
Jean-Marie was paid £125,000 in 2007 by London Underground in an out-of-court settlement after he lost a high-profile case against two other Tube workers, who he accused of racially aggravated harassment after he claimed they bit the heads off black jelly babies in front of him.
The two workers, Vic Cooney and Carlos Rozza, were cleared in a 2006 court case.
After the 2005 London bombings, Mahoney led 500 passengers to safety along Tube tracks. He has 25 years’ service with London Underground.
The RMT’s Byrne has written to London Underground boss Tim O’Toole and London mayor Boris Johnson asking for a meeting to discuss the issues raised by the case.