Sacked bus driver loses tribunal case
A BUS driver who was sacked after calling passengers a derogatory name on social media has failed in a unfair dismissal action.
Dennis Swadel, of Dochart Terrace, was employed as a bus driver with Tayside Public Transport Co Limited — which has traded variously as National Express Dundee, Travel Dundee and Xplore Dundee — from April 2013 until November 2016.
Mr Swadel was given his marching orders from the firm as one of four employees who were disciplined following an internal investigation relating to posts made on social media.
In September last year, several members of staff — and one person who was not employed by the bus company — engaged in a discussion on Facebook.
Mr Swadel made 17 contributions to the discussion, including stating: “I prefer to call them *****” in relation to passengers.
Another submission from Mr Swadel was: “When I look miserable it’s normally because I want to kill some *******.”
The three other employees sacked by the firm were later reinstated after an appeal process.
However, the tribunal heard that Elsie Turbyne — Xplore Dundee’s managing director, who had chaired his internal appeal over his sacking — had been “appalled” by his comments.
Mr Swadel didn’t dispute the facts of the case at his tribunal. However he raised an action in the belief that there had been an “inconsistency of treatment” across the four employees.
An agent acting on behalf of Mr Swadel argued that the disparity in outcomes of the various appeals rendered the dismissal unfair.
However, an employment judge dismissed the claim during a hearing in Dundee.
He said: “This is not a case where procedural unfairness is in issue. To the contrary — what is in issue is whether by refusing to reinstate the claimant the respondent acted unfairly, so unfairly that the claimant’s dismissal was unfair.
“The tribunal was satisfied that it was reasonable for Mrs Turbyne to reach the decision that she did and that the claimant’s dismissal by the respondent had not been unfair.”
Speaking to the Tele, Mr Swadel said: “I am happy to put this behind me and move on.”