Trains delayed by porn-surfing rail worker

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.

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