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Gatwick Airport cleaner punched in face after walking in on a woman on the toilet
A male cleaner at Gatwick Airport has asked his employer – OCS - to excuse him from one of his jobs, following an assault by a member of the public.
Cleaner Jean-Noel Talate was in the process of cleaning ‘the ladies’ when he inadvertently walked in on a woman who was going about her business in one of the cubicles and was consequently at the receiving end of a fist in the face followed by a trip to the local hospital.
According to a Surrey Mirror report, Jean-Noel was cleaning the washrooms in the airport’s South Terminal last Friday at about 23:00 when he knocked on an unlocked cubicle and, believing it to be empty, opened the door to find a woman in there. He offered to take her to where she could make a complaint but, following verbal abuse, was punched in the face by the woman’s partner.
He says: “I opened one door and there was a lady inside. I told her I was a cleaner and asked her to please remember to lock the cubicle. It was embarrassing for both of us. She started calling me a pervert and saying very bad words to me. I told her if she wanted to complain I would take her to the information point but her partner was outside and he was not happy. He punched me in the face and cut the inside of my mouth.”
Jean-Noel wants OCS to reverse the newly introduced job requirement for male cleaners to go into female toilets. “It is a new rule that started for just our night shift cleaning team about a month ago. It hasn’t changed for the cleaners working during the day,” he says.
A Gatwick Airport spokesman told Surrey Mirror that posters indicating that cleaners of the opposite sex may be at work in the washrooms are on display and that cleaners are under instruction to place a cone outside the front door to the toilet while they are cleaning. If any visitor feels uncomfortable, the cleaners are told to leave and return at a later point.
18th December 2014