Union threatens paper boycott over flippant 'poles apart' bus-driver story

A Transport and General Workers' Union official is threatening to demand his members boycott The Press and Journal for its criticism of a bus driver — unless the Aberdeen paper prints a full apology.

The threat follows a story revealing how passengers on a Stagecoach Bluebird bus had to help a Polish-born driver find his way on a route between Aberdeen and Inverness.

Local TGWU convener Brad Oliver said: "I think it was unfair to ridicule the driver and to bring in his nationality was bordering on racism.

"By highlighting that the driver was Polish, attention was drawn to his race. his is unacceptable."

Oliver said he took particular exception to "flippant and insulting remarks" in The Press and Journal editorial comment.

"If the driver involved had been black, would the paper have been so flippant with comments like being ‘poles apart' and said the difference was ‘black and white'?"

Editor Derek Tucker said: "It [the TGWU] is entitled to its opinion. It's just a shame that it appears to be devoid of any sense of humour and doesn't appear to have any consideration for the passengers who were left with a man who didn't know where he was."

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