London Underground accused of 'institutional racism' as white worker wins discrimination case against black colleague

Tom Mahoney

Station supervisor Tom Mahoney at Watford Employment Tribunal where he won his case for racial discrimination against London Underground

London Underground was today accused of 'institutional racism' against white workers after a 7/7 hero won a racial discrimination claim.

An employment tribunal ruled that station supervisor Tom Mahoney, 58, was discriminated against by Tube bosses on the grounds of his race after he complained he had been intimidated by a black worker.

Mr Mahoney, who has 25 years' service and led 500 passengers off a train along the tracks to safety after the 7 July bombings, said his allegations of bullying against co-worker Daniel Jean-Marie were not acted upon because he was white.

Mr Jean-Marie was not suspended and never properly questioned about Mr Mahoney's claims.

By contrast, Tube workers Vic Cooney and Carlos Rozza, whom Mr Jean-Marie had accused of taunting him with jokes about biting the heads off black jelly babies at Caledonian Road station, were suspended and subjected to a fierce interrogation 'like something from the Sweeney'.

The two men were prosecuted for racially aggravated harassment but were cleared by a crown court jury in November 2006.

London Underground later agreed to pay Mr Jean-Marie £125,000 in an out-of-court settlement.

Mr Mahoney, who was not directly involved in the 'Jellygate' affair, told Watford employment tribunal of an incident during the criminal trial when Mr Jean-Marie burst into his office and started taking photographs of him, which he feared would be used to smear him as a racist.

The Irishman said: '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.'

But managers did little to protect him and victimised him for making the complaint.

London Underground denied the claims. But the tribunal panel said managers' approach to the case was 'sceptical and resistant' and the complaint was dismissed af ter a sub-standard investigation.

The tribunal recommended that the ' loyal and long-serving employee' should be given an official apology on top of the £6,000 he was awarded for injury to feelings.

Mr Mahoney, of Islington, said: 'They were so afraid of Daniel Jean-Marie's legal action that they hung me out to dry, and I think that's been recognised by the tribunal.'

His RMT union representative Kevin Byrne said: 'This is a systemic problem which could be seen as institutional racism against white employees.'

Mr Byrne has written to Mayor Boris Johnson and Tube boss Tim O'Toole requesting a meeting to discuss issues raised by the case.

A TfL spokesman 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.'