• Sweden edition

Trains delayed by porn-surfing rail worker

Published: 07 Apr 2010 14:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Apr 2010 14:58 GMT+02:00

A 52-year-old rail worker reprimanded two years ago for visiting pornographic websites at work has escaped with just a second warning despite repeatedly causing trains to be delayed in eastern Sweden.

The Swedish Rail Administration's (Banverket) disciplinary board issued the follow-up warning in March after the signal operator's litany of workplace transgressions led to numerous delays at Gävle station.

In the two-year period since his porn habits led the administration's local computer network to become infected with viruses, the 52-year-old has routinely been summoned to formal meetings with his boss to discuss his various breaches.

High speed X2000 trains, cargo trains, and regular passenger trains have all been affected by the 52-year-old's relaxed approach to his job as a signal operator.

Aside from regularly arriving late to a job regulated by a strict timetable, the man also occasionally failed in his duty to keep train drivers abreast of the latest developments on the tracks. One frustrated driver reported that the 52-year-old slept soundly at his post as he awaited permission for his train to enter the station.

When a series of meetings with his exasperated boss failed to produce results, the 52-year-old was referred in May 2009 to a behavioural therapist "in order to find a way to raise the quality of his work. Above all, to be in the here and now," the board wrote.

Having compiled an exhaustive list of the signal operator's missteps, the disciplinary board eventually concluded that a second warning was in order.

The board further noted that the 52-year-old could not expect to escape with just another warning if he continued to neglect his workplace duties.

The 52-year-old's first warning came in November 2007 when he was found to have visited pornographic websites and gambling sites on more than 50 separate occasions while logged in at work with his rail administration account.

The decision at the time to issue a formal warning was not however unanimous, with two trade union representatives present at the meeting of the disciplinary board arguing that a warning was too harsh a measure. Instead, they felt that a more appropriate course of action would have been to serve the 52-year-old with a written reminder of his duties as a rail administration employee.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

15:25 April 7, 2010 by Kevm
If I had done anything like this when I was a Signalman in Britain I would have been dismissed very very quickly. Let me have his job!
15:32 April 7, 2010 by apostolos1975
"The decision at the time to issue a formal warning was not unanimous, with two trade union representatives present at the meeting of the disciplinary board arguing that a warning was too harsh a measure"

Is this why unions exist? To protect work above everything else??? What if a person dies in an accident involving that guy. Then the union members that protected him in the first place should go on trial as well...
16:51 April 7, 2010 by WelshSwede
Quality, I want his job! He should have been fired and he was possibly the reason why it took me over 3 hours to get home as the uptåget was screwed with delays this winter.

Not in the interest to give him a warning!!! I'd love to see what actually constitutes a warning.
16:56 April 7, 2010 by mukiwa
Seems like working in Sweden is optional......
16:58 April 7, 2010 by jazzIIIlove

Swedish first, then health and safety. lol
17:45 April 7, 2010 by Swedesmith
This is a perfect example of what is wrong with the liberal workplace policies in Sweden. Unions should be organizations protecting the worker from abuse not organizations that abuse the employer. Non-performing employees should be fired, period.
17:47 April 7, 2010 by mannorun
typical swedish way of doing things. An idiot passes by for a worker where as he is just gabbage and the make him look indispensable where as he is not. Nonsense!!
18:28 April 7, 2010 by jack sprat
Truly amazing,..makes leaves on the line sound like a very reasonable excuse by comparison.

Could even cause a divorce or two.

"Where you been till this time of night"?

"Well honey ,there was a three hour delay on the train while the signalman was looking at his porno site".

"You cannot be serious"!!!!!!!!.......

18:31 April 7, 2010 by Glempa
I catch the Gävle-Linköping train from Stockholm every day, and now I know why the train is late so often. Cheers mate!

I hope air traffic controllers are a bit stricter with their employees
18:59 April 7, 2010 by JulieLou40
Jeez, this is a joke. This guy should have been sacked long ago!!!

@ Glempa-let's hope so, re your air traffic comment!!
19:14 April 7, 2010 by cbeynch
Could one of you liberal socialists explain to me why this unionized, useless, piece of sh*t, should not be permanently sh*t-canned? With no benefits, no pension, no health insurance. To give him a waaaaaarning is an affront to every decent Swede! Remember this when you go to the polls in September.
19:40 April 7, 2010 by Dogs_Gonads
What,and the union reps think a warning is too harsh.

Come on, the guy was banging one out in the signal office.

What would the guy get if he pressed the wrong button and sent two train into each other.

Two weeks in Bali to get over the shock.
20:45 April 7, 2010 by vladd777
Someone has to die first..
22:37 April 7, 2010 by Dinger
Utterly astonishing.

You couldn't make this up , no one would believe you.

By the way - where are all the Sweden defenders - you know the ones who take every comment by ex-pats on this site as a personal affront to their beloved country.

Maybe even they realise that such ludicrous goings on such as these cannot be defended.
23:01 April 7, 2010 by Da Goat
They obviously need a more powerful rifle to fire the warnings across his bow,

a kids cap gun is definitely not scary enough.

If they can just get his hands off his dick and onto the signal controls he maybe a better employee!

maybe they need to employ a young lady to keep his mind on the job !
00:08 April 8, 2010 by jack sprat
If he keeps it up he could well go blind very soon and cause a major rail disaster.

Probably it will be put down to pressure of work and more pressing needs.
00:15 April 8, 2010 by DAVID T
Is he Swedish?
04:45 April 8, 2010 by jimfromcanada
People do not understand how unions work. If you are a member of a union, and you pay dues to it, the union has an obligation to defend your interest in any relations with the employer.

It is the employer's obligation to have competent representation in any dispute. Do not blame the union for management incompetence. Mediators and arbitrators are agreed upon by the two parties. Management does not have to agree to mediators or arbitrators that are not fair or competent.
08:56 April 8, 2010 by jack sprat
So ita a case of the tail wagging the dog.

Not a good sign for Swedish industry in general in todays competitive World.

Fika anyone?
09:05 April 8, 2010 by CarlBlack
@ jimfromcanada: If an employee gets somebody killed due to his gross negligience, the union will also defend his interest? The union should not protect those who break safety or other regulations.
09:07 April 8, 2010 by americanska
Dinger - exactly!

all the socialist posters that try to use every story to bash capitalism are staying clear of this story because it doesn't support their point of view. Sounds like a typical socialist/liberal.
15:54 April 8, 2010 by soultraveler3
Lol +1 to Dinger for the above comment. :)

People like the ones you talk about are probably going to comment eventually, they just need some extra time to figure out some way to make this guy be a refugee, a "swede" like Anna Anka a.k.a. born somewhere else or some other excuse.

I love sweden but it is so screwed up here that people are allowed to get away with stuff like this all the time and just get off with a warning. Some here try to say that swedes are hard workers but MOST aren't, it's a part of the culture to feel that you shouldn't have to work hard in order to get paid. In just about any other country jerking off / sleeping while you're in charge of rail safety would be considered a major offence and the person would rightfully be fired.

Go to any other country in the world, you don't see people showing up late all the time and not getting in trouble, taking an hour lunch plus 3 or 4 fikas, plus multiple smoking breaks, 3/4 of the office on some kind of sick leave. When most are "working" it takes the person 5x longer than it should to do a simple job.

Having breaks and taking care of employees is a great thing but there are so many employees here that along with their unions abuse the system and probably cost the tax payer milion per year. The benefits are great but the laziness needs to stop. There are thousands of "invandrare" here that would love to have a job and could probably get twice the work done in half the time while enjoying those benefits.
16:56 April 8, 2010 by Sjayna
Sweden has at least modernized the work-life prostitution, so nobody don't need to work as a slave, be subdued by the chief and struggle to make a living...But I agree, that the company should sacked the man...Just in US there are almost 20 million online porn 'addicts' ( around 80% of them are married MEN)...Poor women, why don't you throw away these idiots or at least go and buy a pair of pruning shears...we don't need these damaged masculine genes... Fire these guys all over the world, fire them ALL and give the jobs to women that they finally become economically self-sufficient... I am waiting to see the movie 'Capitalism: A Porn Story'...hahaa...
21:53 April 8, 2010 by americanska
sjyaya - plenty of people struggle to make a living everywhere. but you sound very uneducated.
03:46 April 9, 2010 by Davey-jo
After all that excitement maybe the points were stiff ....
11:55 April 9, 2010 by Jimmy
A while back I read a story from ( I think ) Poland where a train driver was sacked as he was not qualified. He worked driving trains for years, but he was eventually caught because his fellow workers became suspicious of him as he always turned up early for work and in a good mood.

So maybe he isnt Swedish.
12:33 April 9, 2010 by DAVID T
maybe they should provide w**k breaks as well as coffee breaks
14:31 April 9, 2010 by Sjayna

Most of the occupation categories equals prostitution. Whats the difference between selling your body versus your mind/ethics/morale?! Tell me, please?

And YES, plenty of people struggle to make a living, at least we can dry minimize the amount without serving unlimited capitalism...

I sound very uneducated? I am not here to write a treatise...do we have some 'unwritten' writing rules here?! I am also an ideal dinner party guest, social codes, political correctness etc are foreign to me ...Sorry but I considere myself as an educated person, but still, I don't judge other people based on their grades...They are many stupid/bad persons regardless of background.

We have millions of women who can't support themself or are 'scare' to take a step out, this is A BIG PROBLEM...Try to imagine a world where all women are economically independent in their relations...That would be ultimate gender equality.

Sweden has a rather good work-life strategy compared with many other countries...And it would be even better if they introduced medborgarlön/friår (don't know the english words)...so you can take time off (study more, start a company etc) while an unemployed person can substitute ...
15:03 April 9, 2010 by faizans80
Coffee breaks are not enough to relax the workers.

I think Union should recommend "S*X" breaks.

This should be understood that if in coffee break organization provides the coffee then in "F**K" breaks this should be the organization's duty to provide the toys.
18:00 April 9, 2010 by MichaelZWilliamson
Well, if you regard work as prostitution and immoral, you have the right not to do any.

Don't expect me to pay you for doing nothing, however.
18:21 April 9, 2010 by Tom Dundee
Is it possible to view the pictures he found sointeresting?
19:32 April 9, 2010 by Alasdair MacCorquodale
On the strength of a fortnight's holiday in Sweden I was left with a favourable impression of Sweden.

But exactly what the Hell is going on now'

Is this Liberalism gone mad?
Today's headlines
Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage
The crayfish cage in the picture is not the one mentioned in the story. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage

Police in eastern Sweden have launched a preliminary investigation of animal cruelty after two puppies were found drowned in a crayfish cage. READ () »

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party have stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
People-watching April 16
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
Abba duo hints at reunion
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
People-watching April 11-13
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit: