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Brussels metro driver loses job for broadcasting pro-Palestine message

14:28 28/10/2023

A driver for the Brussels public transport operator Stib has lost his job for skipping stops and broadcasting a pro-Palestine message to passengers on the train's public address system.

The driver refused to service a station before broadcasting a message in support of Palestine just a few days after the Hamas attack on Israel and on the day of Israel's request to evacuate the north of the Gaza Strip, La Capitale reports.

The employee in question twice told passengers that he would not serve the Trône stop on lines 2 and 6 and used his intercom to deliver a pro-Palestine message.

According to a source interviewed by RTBF, the message said that it was contrary to human rights to deport more than a million people of Gaza and that, as a sign of protest, his metro would not stop at the station.

Some passengers reportedly lodged complaints, while others reported the incident on social networks. Stib human resources summoned the driver at the end of his shift in order to dismiss him immediately for serious misconduct.

Stib said the driver violated internal metro operating rules by not only keeping the doors of his vehicle closed at the Trône stop, but also by not respecting the principle of neutrality in the workplace, whether political, philosophical or religious.

“If the doors don't open, you risk passengers panicking,” a Stib spokesperson said. “It is imperative that each stop is served.”

The man, said to be of French nationality and having worked for Stib for five years, was given the option to be dismissed or resigned. He chose to resign.

Written by Helen Lyons