Swedish bus driver sacked for sending text message

A Swedish bus driver has been sacked for sending a text message while driving from Stockholm to Norrtälje. The driver was caught on film by a passenger.

“We have conducted an investigation and regard the incident as very serious, we have thus decided to terminate the trial period,” Ted Stridsberg at operator Busslink told the Norrtelje Tidning newspaper.

The bus-driver was filmed apparently writing a text message on his mobile phone while driving from Danderyd to Norrtälje north of Stockholm on Tuesday evening.

The film shows the driver pushing buttons on his mobile phone while driving the bus with his elbows. The bus was travelling at high speed along the motorway at the time and he appeared to send several messages.

The driver has leapt to his own defence arguing that at no time did he put the safety of the passengers in jeopardy.

“I used the telephone when it was quiet on the road and we were driving along a straight stretch of road,” he told the newspaper.

Furthermore the driver maintains that he was responding to a missed call from management.

The driver has received support from union representatives who argue that some of the responsibility should rest with the company and management.

“It becomes an obligation when an employer rings up and expects that one should receive instructions – at the same time as they know that he is working,” Bengt Bryungs at the Kommunal union told the news website.

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‘Ask Obama about Gitmo and labour’: opposition

Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven has said the government must address the US-run prison Guantanamo Bay prison during the upcoming visit to Sweden by US President Barack Obama.

'Ask Obama about Gitmo and labour': opposition

“We of course have questions about Guantanamo and privacy questions following Snowden,” Löfven told the TT news agency. “These are very important questions that should be discussed between countries that have good relations.”

While the government announced on Thursday that it would not release any further details of Obama’s upcoming visit at present, Swedish political scientist Jan Joel Andersson told The Local this week that it was unlikely that the prison camp on the US Naval Base in Cuba commonly referred to as “Gitmo” would be discussed, although Stockholm does have human rights concerns concerning the US.

Löfven, meanwhile, also took the opportunity to praise the the US president for his focus on restoring American industry, and spurring the growth in employment.

“He talks about re-industrializing the US, creating jobs and hope for the future,” Löfven said. “Ahead of the G20 meeting, it is important to have a strategy for jobs creation and to make sure that the global economic benefits everyone, not like it is today with big imbalances.”

Löfven said the Swedish model, based on the Saltsjöbaden Deal penned in 1938 between employers and trade unions, could serve as inspiration for an international agreement between workers and capital owners.

READ MORE: <a href="” target=”_blank”>Did SAS crisis talks undermine ‘Swedish model’?

“It would be great if Obama could put on the yellow jersey in this discussion,” Löfven said, urging the Swedish prime minister not to shy away from the topic on the American stop-over in Stockholm in September.

TT/The Local/at

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