“I’m never setting my foot in there again. I’ve been forced out,” Anders Sjöblom told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
Sjöblom’s bitterness comes after being unceremoniously sacked from his job at a packaging plant located in Skene in southern Sweden run by forestry giant Stora Enso where he has worked since 1974.
The reason: he liked to work with his pant-legs rolled up.
For most of Sjöblom’s career with Stora Enso, the practice of rolling up his pants to let a little fresh air flow over his calves wasn’t seen as a problem.
“It’s warm. And it’s much easier to climb up and down on the annoying stairs where I work,” he told the Dagens Arbete newspaper in September.
But in June, the plant implemented a new and stricter dress code in the name of workplace safety that stipulated employees must wear long pants.
However, long pants rolled up to just below the knee were not acceptable, Sjöblom learned.
Over the summer, he was given a number of verbal and written warnings instructing him to leave his pant-legs rolled down.
But Sjöblom had trouble letting go of his well-worn habit.
“I rolled up my pants like always this morning. Then the boss came in and sent me home and I was given my notice,” he told Dagens Arbete in early September.
“I was so pissed off. At some point, someone has to take a stand.”
While Sjöblom’s union took issue with the grounds for his dismissal, on Monday the decision became official: he had been fired.
“It was expected. I’m not especially surprised,” he told the paper, adding that he felt the company was run by “fascists”.
“It feels great to stand up for what you believe in,” he said.
A union representative to Dagens Arbete they planned to take the matter to court if Stora Enso doesn’t reverse the decision.
“It hasn’t been proven that employers have the right to put these kinds of demands on staff,” union rep Magnus Leson told the paper.