Worker punished for helping wounded swan

This video is called Mute swan & cygnets – Cygnus olor.

Translated from daily De Volkskrant in the Netherlands:

Railway trade union: “Mechanic who rescued swan deserves praise”

07/08/12, 10:09

The NS [Dutch railways corporation] mechanic who last week managed to get a wounded swan off the track and in this way ended the blockage of traffic around Amsterdam Central Station, gets support from the railway union VVMC. According to the union that mechanic does not deserve suspension, but praise.

The mechanic was recently ordered to have paid leave, because he supposedly violated the security protocol. The NS management thinks that the mechanic by walking on the track seriously threatened himself and his surroundings. VVMC executive member Wim Eilert calls this, however, ‘ridiculous’. According to Eilert the board of the NS should instead be proud of what the mechanic has done.

It is not the first time that an employee of NS when performing a heroic act is punished with a suspension. Eilert says that a few weeks ago there was a similar situation. “A few weeks ago, something similar happened in Amsterdam with two rail platform supervisors. They saw a mother with a pram getting stuck between the train doors. These will then automatically open. They have warned the driver preventing him from starting the train. Well done, one might say,” the VVMC executive member says in De Telegraaf.

But the actions of these two supervisors led to a security investigation. “The NS always insists on the skill of people. But if employees show that skill, then they get punished”, Eilert reacts indignantly. The NS mechanic says that he is overwhelmed by all the support which he has received, but at the moment he does not want to react more. The swan has been transferred to the animal rehabilitation.

One can contact the VVMC trade union at their Internet site. The mechanic’s name is Rens Kamminga.

10 thoughts on “Worker punished for helping wounded swan

  1. If this sort of policy is enforced – and it happens in other countries – we won’t need awards for courage and bravery, because no-one will be allowed to endanger themselves by saving or helping others. What a world that would be..


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