Pipe manager who called George Floyd ‘scum’ was unfairly fired, according to the rules of the tribunal

London Underground

London Underground

A senior London Underground manager who called George Floyd ‘scum’ on Facebook has been unfairly fired, a tribunal has ruled.

Tracy Webb was accused of posting “racially divisive” comments online about Floyd, the 46-year-old black man who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis in 2020.

A Facebook post written by Ms Webb in the aftermath of his death said: “I’m not sorry he’s gone,” the hearing was told. Mrs. Webb, who is white, wrote: “Not afraid to call scum scum…not because of color, race, gender or creed.”

The tribunal also heard her make a comment saying “all lives matter” and asked why there were no riots following the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby.

White Fusilier Rigby was murdered in southeast London in 2013 by two black assailants who had converted to radical Islam.

‘Very offended’

The tribunal was told it all “started” at the Seven Sisters depot, in north London, where Ms Webb worked, The Times reported.

Black staff members were said to have been “deeply offended” and upset by her comments and she was fired from her “hugely responsible job” as a train manager on duty in 2021.

Ms Webb, who had worked on the Underground network for 32 years, sued Transport For London, arguing she couldn’t be racist because she had two mixed-race children and other black relatives.

She claimed racial discrimination because she was white and entitled to free speech. The court rejected both arguments.

Procedural errors in dismissal

However, she won a claim for unfair dismissal after demonstrating procedural errors in her dismissal.

In its ruling, the tribunal ruled that the London Underground boss, who presided over her hearing on disciplinary appeals, was “ill-equipped” to do so. It described him as having “rigid ideas about the merits of the matter”.

Richard Wood, the employment judge, criticized Ms Webb for posting the comments, but said the boss who oversaw her disciplinary hearing had “predetermined” her appeal and that it was his view that it was a tick box.

The ruling also found that the London Underground boss failed to take into account mitigating factors such as Ms Webb’s seniority and previous good character in the workplace.

The tribunal upheld her claim for unfair dismissal and a hearing on compensation will be held at a later date.

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