IWW defends train driver - press release

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Jun 8 2007 13:55
IWW defends train driver - press release

Press Release - IWW defends train driver

Troubled train operator, First Great Western, already short of drivers, has taken the bizarre step of sacking a driver for swearing at a colleague during an argument, claiming that the swearing was "threatening."

Sacked Bristol driver Patrick Spackman said: "I regret swearing at him. And I regret referring to his weight. But for management to call this 'gross misconduct' is just ludicrous. I'm afraid that this kind of language is used all day and every day on the railways and if the company is going to start sacking people for it they won't have many drivers left."

First Great Western boss Alison Forster is already under pressure over the company's poor services. Last year Early Day Motions were tabled in Parliament condemning reductions in services and now David Drew, MP for Stroud, has tabled an EDM calling for First Great Western services to be run in the public
sector.

Mr Spackman is being represented by the Industrial Workers of the World, the union universally known as "the Wobblies."

A union spokesperson said: "First Great Western have mishandled this case from the beginning. It could easily have been resolved months ago but now it will have to be dealt with by an Employment Tribunal. Yet more unnecessary stress for our member and a total waste of time and money for everyone."