Two British bus drivers have been suspended over concerns that their weight could damage bus seats. Some employees, however, believe the bus company is looking for excuses to cut stuff.
The London Telegraph reports that managers at Blackpool Transport say the drivers, who weigh a combined 40 stone, or 560 pounds, are too fat for their own welfare. The company has ordered them to lose half a stone, 7 pounds, each in the next month or risk pay deductions.
And while the paper reports that the company also fears for its buses seats, some employees aren't buying it. "It's discriminating against them and they are very upset," one employee, who believes the company is just looking for excuses to cut staff, told the Telegraph. "Why can't they give incentives to lose weight rather than send people home with the worry of possibly losing pay in the future?"
Others have criticized the decision, too. "I don't think it is for your boss to tell you that you have to lose weight," a local politician told the Telegraph. "It is an incredible state of affairs when a transport company takes this action." He added that a bus driver's job is "naturally sedentary" and that there should be ways besides suspension to address such issues.
Trevor Roberts, the managing director of Blackpool Transport told the Telegraph that the matter is one of health and safety and was addressed after conduction a "full risk assessment."
"No one has been dismissed. Anyone who may have been suspended is on full pay. We are in talks with union representatives and there will be a meeting shortly."