A shop worker says he was sacked after using the wrong teabags to brew up. James Alden, 47, was given a written warning and suspended by Co-operative bosses after taking Twinings Lady Grey tea bags to use in the staff canteen.
He said workers were allowed to take the store’s own brand Fairtrade products from the shop floor when making a cuppa. But James, who has worked at the store on Burton Road in West Didsbury for 11 years, was called to a disciplinary meeting when bosses spotted two boxes of Twinings teabags in the canteen.
He was then dismissed after being given another written warning for not recording the ages of people over 25 buying cigarettes and alcohol. In a letter to James, bosses said the teabag offence was ‘misappropriation of company stock by taking items into the canteen without making prior payment’.
Four years ago, he was hailed a hero after tackling an armed raider in the shop, but now claims management were looking for reasons to sack him after he objected to a new clocking-in system. James, of Kingsway, Didsbury, said: “I’m completely flabbergasted. I can’t believe they can sack someone for something so trivial as using the wrong tea bags. In all other respects, I have been a model employee. I have never been late or off sick in 11 years of service. I would have thought at the very worst this would deserve a warning – it’s a storm in a tea bag.”