Sunday, December 22, 2013


There's a guy I work with, he's fairly new to the company and a really nice guy. However one of the jobs he has to do is erect ancillary equipment on scaffolding and this means working at heights. When he first started he said he had no problem with heights and appeared to get on fine doing the job. There have now been two incidents however in which he has run into problems working at exposed heights, even with the harness system we use for protection.
Disciplinary proceedings (of a sort) are now ongoing and despite being counselled over the first incident, it rather looks like the guy will lose his job due to his unwillingness (or fear) to carry out his duties.
It's a shame, he's a nice guy, but the company isn't willing to employ someone who can't or won't do the job they are employed for.
You'd think this would be the same in most businesses, well you'd be wrong, particularly if you're dealing with a member of the religion of perpetual offence...
Muslim staff working for Marks & Spencer have been given permission to refuse to serve customers buying alcohol or pork products
Its policy decision has highlighted a split among the big food retailers over whether religious staff should be excused certain jobs.
In contrast to M&S, Sainsbury’s said it had issued official guidelines that stated there was no reason why staff who did not drink alcohol or eat pork for religious reasons could not handle the goods.
The advice followed consultations with religious groups, said a spokesman.
Tesco said it treated each case on its merits, but said it “made no sense” to employ staff on a till who refused to touch certain items for religious reasons.
At M&S, Muslim staff who do not wish to handle alcohol or pork have been told they can politely request that customers choose another till at which to pay.
Now I have no problem with the muslims having difficulty handling glass and plastic for after all it's not like they will actually come into contact with the articles their silly god has said they can't touch. The problem I have is stores employing people who cannot or will not do their jobs and cite religious reasons for doing so. If the job requirement is for you to work at a checkout and deal with the good sold in the store, then that's what you do. If there's a problem handling said goods for you personally, then you really shouldn't be working there, nor forcing your religious driven phobias on other people who are actually paying your bloody wages!
Pandering to religions, not just the islamic one is simply not a path to be going down. Yet Marks and Spencer are doing just that by pandering to certain staff, rather than refusing to employ them because in essence they are making themselves unemployable in the role they've applied for. Would you expect a scaffolding company to employ an erector that refused to work at heights for religious reasons? Or a doctor who would refuse to treat the sick if their skin was the wrong colour? Yet this is essence is what Marks and Spencer are permitting, they are employing those who are refusing to do their jobs and allowing them to use their religion as an excuse not to do them.
This is a slippery slope that we're going down and pandering to these people here and in other areas simply makes them attempt to try for more concessions from companies, politicians and other organisations.
If you can't do a job, then you should not apply for it, simple as that.

13 annotations:

Anonymous said...

Have never been politely (FFS!) asked to use another checkout at a supermarket because someone wishes to take the piss out of me and their employer.

If it did happen I would simply walk out leaving all the stuff on the belt and go down the road to another supermarket. At least that way the supermarket that employed the git would not get my money and have maximum inconvenience.

Have to feel sorry for those in the queue behind me, but they would be inonvenienced by me having to re-pack the trolley and move anyway...

Longrider said...

At M&S, Muslim staff who do not wish to handle alcohol or pork have been told they can politely request that customers choose another till at which to pay.

I would leave the goods at the checkout and walk - taking my custom with me. I would also let M&S know in no uncertain terms why I had done so and that I would never patronise their emporiums ever again.

English Pensioner said...

Next we will have the vegan who refuses to handle any animal products or perhaps the Mormon who refuses to handle any stimulants such as tea or coffee and certainly not alcohol!

Rickie said...

This is the first time i have heard of this bollocks, it seems different stores do different things.

If i get asked politley to go to another till at M&S, i will politely tell them to find someone else to serve me, make the muslim move his or her arse.

Stand your ground folks, running away in a strop will be less effective in dealing with this problem.

Thanks for the warning, i would have probably been caught out by a request to move and would have trotted off confused but obediant.

Dioclese said...

I totally agree with you Rickie.

Their problem not mine!

Longrider said...

No, walking away is a better protest. Let them sort out the mess and lose money.

SteveA said...

Where will it stop Pastafarians refusing to serve noodles/

Anonymous said...

I think both approaches are right. But would choose to walk out and leave the mess.

Either way, this is wrong allowing employees to dictate terms and conditions that other employees do not have.

That's called discrimination and I think its illegal.

Derekp said...

Oh dear, M&S are implying their stores will not allow ALL TILLS to be staffed by muslims!

Quick - call Chaki for a 'human right$' violation.
/sarc off

Anonymous said...

I have emailed the dhimmi chumps told them I will not set foot in one of their stores again

But I want to test the story I will enter the store and buy bacon and booze (great stuff that I recommend it to everyone ) re a protest I like both options i.e walk away leaving the stuff there or saying actually you move so I will do it on the toss of a coin in front of the checkout and carry out one of the actions.

I hope more of us do the same boycott or force the issue and highlight it for the foolishness it is marks and not very bright sparks ahem!

Anonymous said...

both solutions above are good for me.
create a furore at the check out till. make your opinion known loud and clear (but beware 'hate' comments) and then when everything has been priced up and they want you to pay - walk away and leave everything behind.
but, it is important for everyone to KNOW how disgusted you are to help make it 'allowable' to object. set an example that others may choose to follow.

Anonymous said...

According to this, Muhammad (reformed drinker)banned alcohol because some drunk mutilated a camel...

Kath lissenden said...

I would leave the items at the till and take my custom elsewhere.
I agree this is a very slippery slope and M&S given their current woes seem to me to be cutting off their nose to spite their faces, and serve them right.
If I can't wear a cross in my place of work why should they be allowed to refuse to handle certain products this double standard nonsense needs to STOP. I am tried of this one rule for them and another for us pish.
If I was employed to do a job and then refused to do it I would be dismissed and quite rightly so.
I find this level of pandering disgusting and it causes ME OFFENCE but no one will care if I am offended because I don't worship a 6th century imaginary demonic peodophile.