A union is demanding action is taken to protect "vulnerable" staff at Lewisham station following a series of Covid-related assaults.

Last month a passenger spat in the face of a staff member, while two others were verbally abused and threatened by a man vandalising the station, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said.

This is the second time the "terrfied" worker has been spat at, and the third time he has been assaulted.

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RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “It is a disgrace that frontline workers at Lewisham station have to go to work wondering if they will be the victim of a COVID-related or other assault.

“RMT is calling on the station’s operator, Southeastern, to take appropriate steps to protect staff, request additional British Transport Police presence and take a zero tolerance approach to offenders.

“We are also calling for an end to lone working in the station which leaves workers both in fear and vulnerable.

“Today the union is issuing specific advice to our members at Lewisham station on personal safety including to “safe stop” and walk off the job if they assess they are at risk of assault.”

RMT, which says the violent assaults on staff, threats, racial abuse and intimidation are daily occurrences at the station, has issued Southeastern a series of demands.

It has urged the company to conduct strengthened risk assessments which taken account the risk of assault and for the company to request addition British Transport Police presence at the station.

There are also calls for the company to provide a proper “chain of care”, end lone working and implement a prominent publicity campaign.

Southeastern says it is investigating the incidents and is now working with RMT and the police to address the issue. 

A Southeastern spokesperson said: “We take the wellbeing of our people extremely seriously and we have regular engagement with all colleagues about the risk of assaults and their general welfare.

“We are investigating thoroughly the incidents at Lewisham, while working with the unions and the BTP to identify measures to further increase the protection of our staff.”