Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Factory worker fired for rolling up his trouser legs

A 59-year-old man who worked for more than 30 years at a packaging plant in southern Sweden has been fired for rolling his trouser legs up while on the job. "I'm never setting my foot in there again. I've been forced out," Anders Sjöblom said. Sjöblom's bitterness comes after being unceremoniously sacked from his job at a packaging plant located in Skene in southern Sweden run by forestry giant Stora Enso where he has worked since 1974. The reason: he liked to work with his trouser legs rolled up.

For most of Sjöblom's career with Stora Enso, the practice of rolling up his trousers to let a little fresh air flow over his calves wasn't seen as a problem. "It's warm. And it's much easier to climb up and down on the annoying stairs where I work," he said in September. But in June, the plant implemented a new and stricter dress code in the name of workplace safety that stipulated employees must wear long trousers.

However, long trousers rolled up to just below the knee were not acceptable, Sjöblom learned. Over the summer, he was given a number of verbal and written warnings instructing him to leave his trouser legs rolled down. But Sjöblom had trouble letting go of his well-worn habit. "I rolled up my pants like always this morning. Then the boss came in and sent me home and I was given my notice," he said. "I was so pissed off. At some point, someone has to take a stand."

While Sjöblom's union took issue with the grounds for his dismissal, on Monday the decision became official: he had been fired. "It was expected. I'm not especially surprised," he said, adding that he felt the company was run by "fascists". "It feels great to stand up for what you believe in," he said. A union representative to Dagens Arbete they planned to take the matter to court if Stora Enso doesn't reverse the decision.

1 comment:

Gumby said...

Not "unceremoniously" ...they did all the ritual verbal/written warning palaver. Hey, I don't think it's a big issue, but there's got to be one rule for everyone. He had 30 years with 'em rolled, be glad for that and wear them properly for the few years you've got left to work.