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Email 'joke' leads to bus strike

March 30, 2001

An email of a man with weights hanging from his balls - does this tickle your sense of humour? What if the depiction was of your boss? Even funnier, hey? and what if you thought it was amusing enought to send it to a workmate.

And what if your colleague thought it was so hilarious that he printed a copy and posted it on the message board at work. would your boss do if he (obviously it has to be a he in this case) found out that you were the original sender of the email that exposed him to such hilarity.

And if you were fired, what would you do then? Why you'd say that it was none of the company's business as you sent the 'joke' email out of office hours from your home PC.

That's the argument of Godfrey Aberdeen, one of two employees fired at London United bus company for exchanging a joke email of boss and testicles.

Mr. Aberdeen sent the email to a colleague who posted it up at work. He is appealing against his dismissal and has the support of his union, the TWGU, in which he's a local official. The TGWU reckons that Aberdeen is being victimised for his union activity.

He also has the support of his colleagues, 100 of whom are striking today and next Monday and Tuesday. The colleagues are engineers, so presumably the buses will still be running. (After all, how many buses can break down in three days... OK, you maybe you should think of working from home.)

On the face of it, Aberdeen has a good case for unfair dismissal; his colleague, who exposed the manager to ridicule by posting the joke at work, may have a tougher time of carrying off that line of argument.

by Drew Cullen, The Register


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