Electronic cigarette row sparks strike threat

Your Local Guardian: Paul Scott is upset at losing his job for smoking an electronic cigarette. Paul Scott is upset at losing his job for smoking an electronic cigarette.

Workers at the borough’s main landfill site have threatened to go on strike after a colleague was sacked for smoking an electronic cigarette.

The trade union UNITE have accused Viridor, who run a waste facility at Beddington Lane, of wrongly sacking Paul Scott, a worker at the site for seven years.

Mr Scott, of Carshalton, was spotted by a manager smoking and was told he had breached regulations.

The 55-year-old said he had been smoking an electronic cigarette, as he was trying to give up smoking, which he thought was not against company policy.

He said he was told during his disciplinary hearing that smoking an electronic cigarette was not allowed but it was a new part of company policy and had not been communicated to anyone.

A spokesman for Viridor said a robust investigation was carried out which concluded Mr Scoot was in breach of company policies and was dismissed as a result.

Onay Kasab, the UNITE regional officer, said as well as making a claim for unfair dismissal they are now formally consulting with union members to take action.

Mr Kasab said if strike action was to take place, it would be in the lead up to Christmas in mid-December.

He said if strike action was to take place it would affect bin collections in Croydon as the landfill site would not be able to function properly, and rubbish would have to be taken elsewhere.

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The Beddington Lane site takes 63 per cent of waste from Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton. There are more than 20 workers at the facility.

Mr Kasab said: "This really is quite appalling. This man has lost his job based on the word of one manager who thought he saw a cigarette.

"It simply is not appropriate to sack somebody based on this appalling lack of evidence and when the individual has offered a more than reasonable explanation.

"We have begun formally consulting with Unite members with a view to taking action to support our member".

Mr Scott said he was angry at how he was treated and said he will take the case to an employment tribunal.

He said: “I have been working in this industry for a long time, and I have worked at this plant for seven years.

“I was supposed to have been aware of this policy about electronic cigarettes but it was not communicated to anyone. So how am I supposed to know?

“It makes me angry really. You are being pulled up for the stupidest of things. I am out of work now for seven years service. I have not had a disciplinary ever before.

“It is a very long shot that I will get to go back. Hopefully if people decide to strike then that will put some pressure on them.

“I have got a lot of people on my side as they are disgusted with outcome of this, they are all standing behind me.”

A spokesman for Viridor said they are yet to be approached by union representatives about any impending strike action.

Comments (12)

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4:30pm Wed 6 Nov 13

CROYDON RESI says...

Normally but quite gobby but i'm speechless on this.

Good luck to you Mr Scott. I don't mind my bins not being collected for a while so take notice Viridor, the public is NOT on your side.

Simple THUMBS UP IN SUPPORT
or THUMBS DOWN IF NOT !!
Normally but quite gobby but i'm speechless on this. Good luck to you Mr Scott. I don't mind my bins not being collected for a while so take notice Viridor, the public is NOT on your side. Simple THUMBS UP IN SUPPORT or THUMBS DOWN IF NOT !! CROYDON RESI
  • Score: 132

4:54pm Wed 6 Nov 13

DrDelicious says...

Good luck! Stupid rule and a stupid system, however i see you getting your job back long before a strike. However i would suggest an upgrade from your cig-a-like to a VAMO and a ProTank 2 - Much better!
Good luck! Stupid rule and a stupid system, however i see you getting your job back long before a strike. However i would suggest an upgrade from your cig-a-like to a VAMO and a ProTank 2 - Much better! DrDelicious
  • Score: 57

5:01pm Wed 6 Nov 13

Mr Flange of Wallington says...

More to this than meets the eye. Sounds like Viridor are looking for any excuse to reduce their workforce in the run up to the incinerator being built. Big companies riding rough shod over single employees is the worst form of bullying, especically when they have an unwritten policy.

GIVE HIM HIS JOB BACK, OR PAY HIM HIS REDUNDANY MONEY!!!
More to this than meets the eye. Sounds like Viridor are looking for any excuse to reduce their workforce in the run up to the incinerator being built. Big companies riding rough shod over single employees is the worst form of bullying, especically when they have an unwritten policy. GIVE HIM HIS JOB BACK, OR PAY HIM HIS REDUNDANY MONEY!!! Mr Flange of Wallington
  • Score: 60

6:23pm Wed 6 Nov 13

Dragonmum says...

Mr Scott could not have been smoking an e-cig - they produce no smoke. He was "using" one and harming neither himself nor those around him. He is obviously weaning himself off cigarettes at zero cost to the tax-payer, unlike those who go to the doctor for gums and patches - they cost us millions every year. Good luck to you Mr. Scott - I hope your union takes them all the way!
Mr Scott could not have been smoking an e-cig - they produce no smoke. He was "using" one and harming neither himself nor those around him. He is obviously weaning himself off cigarettes at zero cost to the tax-payer, unlike those who go to the doctor for gums and patches - they cost us millions every year. Good luck to you Mr. Scott - I hope your union takes them all the way! Dragonmum
  • Score: 55

6:33pm Wed 6 Nov 13

upyourkilt says...

Last month the European court ruled that vaping products will never come under any laws ,after the Uk government and others tried to get vaping brought under the same smoking regulations, so that they could tax them, and that people are free to vape anywhere they want due to it only being water vapour, as there is more water vapour come out of a kettle
So you can now legally vape anywhere
Last month the European court ruled that vaping products will never come under any laws ,after the Uk government and others tried to get vaping brought under the same smoking regulations, so that they could tax them, and that people are free to vape anywhere they want due to it only being water vapour, as there is more water vapour come out of a kettle So you can now legally vape anywhere upyourkilt
  • Score: 34

6:37pm Wed 6 Nov 13

upyourkilt says...

As a footnote I would advise him to get a proper vaping kit, those look alike cheap things he is holding are useless
As a footnote I would advise him to get a proper vaping kit, those look alike cheap things he is holding are useless upyourkilt
  • Score: 22

6:40pm Wed 6 Nov 13

232904 says...

good luck to you Mr Scott, I hope you get your job back. NOT A GOOD ENOUGH REASON TO SACK SOMEONE VIRIDOR!!!!
good luck to you Mr Scott, I hope you get your job back. NOT A GOOD ENOUGH REASON TO SACK SOMEONE VIRIDOR!!!! 232904
  • Score: 35

6:40pm Wed 6 Nov 13

232904 says...

good luck to you Mr Scott, I hope you get your job back. NOT A GOOD ENOUGH REASON TO SACK SOMEONE VIRIDOR!!!!
good luck to you Mr Scott, I hope you get your job back. NOT A GOOD ENOUGH REASON TO SACK SOMEONE VIRIDOR!!!! 232904
  • Score: 13

11:20pm Wed 6 Nov 13

blaze1 says...

But he wasn't smoking! And they hadn't even told anyone about the "new" rule. Speechless! (apart from that bit obv.) Idiots!
But he wasn't smoking! And they hadn't even told anyone about the "new" rule. Speechless! (apart from that bit obv.) Idiots! blaze1
  • Score: 30

10:08pm Thu 7 Nov 13

Lutonant says...

Sack the manager!
Sack the manager! Lutonant
  • Score: 11

12:06pm Fri 8 Nov 13

kevinb57 says...

How can you possibly sack someone over a rule which you have not communicated to anyone. Sounds like he had upset management in some way and they wanted him out. He deserves all the compo he will undoubtably get and reinstating.
How can you possibly sack someone over a rule which you have not communicated to anyone. Sounds like he had upset management in some way and they wanted him out. He deserves all the compo he will undoubtably get and reinstating. kevinb57
  • Score: 8

11:36am Sun 10 Nov 13

rocket400 says...

I find this quite funny really ,i used to work at this site and the amount of corruption that goes on there is unreal, supevisors taking backhanders from dustcart drivers for private jobs and one of the managers who used to work on the weighbridge used to sell me cheap fags from france,,funny how they change when they get to management..
good luck Dundee...
I find this quite funny really ,i used to work at this site and the amount of corruption that goes on there is unreal, supevisors taking backhanders from dustcart drivers for private jobs and one of the managers who used to work on the weighbridge used to sell me cheap fags from france,,funny how they change when they get to management.. good luck Dundee... rocket400
  • Score: 12

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