VANCOUVER -- Santa's back behind the wheel of the bus.
A few days after Coast Mountain Bus company banned Kirk Rockwell from wearing a red-and-white Santa suit while working, the transit authority did an about-face Thursday, announcing it will review its dress policy preventing employees from sporting festive attire.
“We really, really underestimated how much our customers and the public valued his holiday spirit,” vice-president Stan Sierpina said. “It was certainly never our intent to offend the public.”
Last year, Coast Mountain, run by TransLink, passed a dress code forbidding such elaborate dress on the job.
Veteran driver Rockwell, however, challenged the rule, reasoning he liked bringing Christmas cheer to commuters.
Nathan Woods of the Unifor 111, the union representing drivers, welcomed the decision.
“In the greater scheme of things, I guess the victory really does come later on in terms of if the employer is going to make decisions that haven’t completely considered how they will affect employees,” he said.
Woods added many drivers were upset about the authority’s decision to crackdown on Rockwell.
According to the new regulation, drivers are only permitted to wear Santa hats or festive ties while working.
Sierpina said Coast Mountain will revisit the policy next year, but added the authority wants drivers to look professional.