Tube strike: Grill Market café in London apologises for sign 'banning' RMT customers
Cafe has apologised after joke on board sparked outrage on Twitter
A café in central London has sparked outrage with a sign that ‘banned’ RMT members for entering the premises, but offered a ten per cent discount to all other prospective customers.
The joke posted on the board outside Grill Market read: "NO RMT MEMBERS. 10% off coffee for everyone else" and was widely condemned after being posted on Twitter as the 48-hour tube workers' strike continued.
The Holborn-based cafe was quick to issue an apology on Twitter and stressed the sign was only meant in jest, tweeting: "Again, total apology to anyone offended by the board this morning, was only supposed to be a joke, clearly I got it VERY wrong."
But the apology appeared futile, as many responded by describing the joke as "terrible" and in poor taste. Others lambasted the café for "belittling" the plight of workers striking against plans to close Tube ticket offices.
.@grill_market How about an apology those who's plight you belittled rather than an apology to all the people your boss saw you upset?; Seymour (@SeymourSan) April 29, 2014
The manager of Grill Market, who gave his name only as Tom, said the sign was not intended to cause any offence and was simply "a really badly judged joke", which has since been removed from the board.
He told The Independent: "Most people who came into the shop seemed to find it quite funny, but reading back it back I realise how it sounds.
"I wasn't thinking about people losing their jobs, it was just to make people smile who were having a bad day."
But some Twitter uses have criticised people for taking the sign so seriously, with many arguing it is simply a joke and should be treated as such.
@grill_market Ha ha. The outrage! Get a grip people. Not the best joke but a simple one nonetheless.; PF (@PeterFearns) April 29, 2014
"Ignore them, it was both funny and appropriate. Well done" was one response while another said it was "a great shame - the board would have got my business," after it was taken down.
The RMT say the closure of ticket offices will cost hundreds of job losses and threaten safety.
But London Underground (LU) maintains that staff would be better employed on station concourses as only three per cent of tickets are bought at ticket offices.
If the dispute is not resolved, RMT members say they will stage another walkout - this time for 72 hours - from 9pm on Monday 5 May.
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