Reinstate suspended bus driver

To the managing director of Konnect Buses


Reinstate suspended bus driver

25,862 people have signed. Help us reach 50,000 signatures.

Reinstate suspended bus driver

A bus driver working for Konectbuses in Norwich has been suspended from his job and is facing a disciplinary hearing after he refused to drive a bus which the company had themed with rainbow colours in support of a local Pride march.

According to various media reports, once the driver who is reportedly in his 50’s saw that the bus he was rostered to drive had been adorned with rainbow branding, he voiced his objection and switched to another vehicle.

This would have gone unremarked upon had it not been for the actions of an intolerant 19 year old student who supposedly overheard his remarks and not satisfied with reporting the man to the front desk, proceeded to take a photograph of him and escalated the situation on social media, resulting in his suspension from work. This could potentially lead to reprisals for him and his family.

The student’s objection was not that she had been prevented from proceeding on her journey or that she had experienced a short delay, but that this man’s opinions were offensive and could potentially have upset those who identify as LGBT. 

The driver was not expressing any hatred or offensive remarks towards the LGBT community or any one individual but simply exercising his own conscience rights when it comes to being forced to promote a political ideology with which he disagrees.

Many people are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the overt displays of lewd sexual behaviour, nakedness and celebration of sexual fetishes and pervasions which are on public display at Pride marches. It is one thing to tolerate those who have different values to ourselves, it is quite another to be forced by one’s employer to promote those values.

The rainbow flag is a political symbol, supporters of which promote a number of troubling ethical practices such as gender ideology and surrogacy. When a company chooses to adopt a political cause as part of their corporate branding employees are then automatically associated with that cause and often, as in the case of the bus driver, forced to promote it.

In a statement Konect buses have said that they ‘have been champions of Pride since 2017 and do not condone behaviour from employees which does not support this view.’ To force an employee to promote values which go against their conscience or religious faith is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

Were employees consulted before the re-branding of their buses, or given the option to switch vehicles? Was the driver informed that he would be required to promote LGBT causes on behalf of the company as part of his employment contract? Does this mean that those from religious minorities may not become employees of Konect or their parent company, the Go Ahead group?

In a disturbing development one of the company’s employees has gone onto social media to gloat that the driver’s dismissal is a forgone conclusion because his direct manager is gay. This implies that the man, could be denied fair process and subject to a biased investigation.

This man who potentially has a family to support now faces losing his job thanks to the irresponsible actions of a 19 year old student, who may well have misheard or misrepresented his comments. The driver was not denying anyone service or indeed being rude or offensive to a passenger, but was merely exercising his own conscience rights.

Sign the petition to Jeremy Cooper, Managing Director of Konect Buses, asking for the driver’s immediate reinstatement.

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Reinstate suspended bus driver

To Jeremy Cooper, Managing Director of KonectBuses

A bus driver working for your company has been suspended pending a full disciplinary investigation after he refused to drive a bus branded with the LGBT Pride rainbow logo in support of the local Pride march.

I am writing to signal my support for your bus driver and ask that he is not dismissed on account of exercising his conscience rights and on the say-so of a member of the public who may well have misrepresented or exaggerated his remarks. 

Your driver was not refusing to work his contracted hours or carry out his duties, he simply objected to driving this particular vehicle as to do so would have gone against his conscience. He immediately transferred to a different vehicle with minimal disruption to the service. 

An increasing number of people are becoming uncomfortable with the corporatisation of the rainbow flag and Pride symbol for a variety of different reasons. Pride marches are not family-friendly, they often feature public displays of nakedness and sexual behaviour and celebrate sexual fetishes. They also promote gender ideology which is deeply divisive. 

Your company claims that it wants customers of all backgrounds to feel comfortable on your services, but by adorning your bus routes with a rainbow logo and implying your support of Pride you are immediately alienating a huge number of your potential customers, many of whom will feel uncomfortable using your service, but have no other choice.

One of your employees has already been posting public statements on Twitter stating that this driver’s dismissal is a foregone conclusion because your Network Manager is gay. He also claims that the employee will now be the subject of workplace bullying which he believes is deserved.

Your statement forces your employees to promote LGBT values which may go against their personal beliefs. Was this made clear in their contracts?  Did you consult with your drivers before adopting Pride as a company value or give them the option not to drive these branded buses? Are employees from minority religious backgrounds now effectively barred from driving your buses?

There is no evidence that your employee acted in an abusive or offensive manner to any of the passengers travelling on your service, but nonetheless you have pandered to an intolerant 19 year old who wishes to see him punished on account of his views.  As an employer you have a duty of care to your driver who has now unexpectedly been thrust into the public spotlight. As a company that claims to support diversity, you have an obligation to represent all sections of the community and to stand up to episodes of bullying via social media to which your employee has been subjected.

I urge you to do the right thing and allow your driver to keep his job. 

[Your Name]

Reinstate suspended bus driver

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25,862 people have signed. Help us reach 50,000 signatures.