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King George Hospital staff to hold protest after porter is sacked over fried egg sandwich theft

PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:16 14 February 2017

Staff are considering strike action

Staff are considering strike action

Archant

Staff at King George Hospital will be protesting tomorrow after a porter was sacked for allegedly stealing a fried egg sandwich.

A hospital porter who says he was sacked over a misunderstanding of the payment of his £4 breakfast hopes to overturn the decision on appeal.

Dad-of-three Aldren Tomlinson, of Forest Gate, says he has been living in a “nightmare” since he was dismissed from his job.

Ahead of the appeal, more than 120 people have signed a petition hospitality firm Sodexo to reinstate the 45-year-old.

Tomorrow, staff will be holding a protest outside the hospital gates, in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, at 2.30pm.

The GMB union says in January, Mr Tomlinson ordered a fried egg and bacon sandwich and a cup of tea before realising that he had forgotten his wallet.

He allegedly told canteen staff at the hospital that he would pay for the items later, which they agreed too.

But Sodexo disputes this and ruled at his disciplinary hearing last Tuesday that Mr Tomlinson had not been granted permission to take the food.

They say that the canteen staff member allegedly did not hear Mr Tomlinson properly and hadn’t given permission.

Michael Dooley, GMB representative for Redbridge, claims up to 150 staff members are considering balloting for strike action.

He said: “In my view and in most reasonable people’s view, this does not warrant the ultimate sanction.

“A warning or a final warning, maybe, but not something which destroy’s a person’s life.

“You can’t go and get a job somewhere when you have been sacked for theft.”

Mr Tomlinson, who is dyslexic, said he cannot eat or sleep over the stress of the situation.

He said: “When my manager called me in to her office to tell me I was suspended, she said I had broken her heart.

“I have never been in trouble before or even had a warning.”

He says he is devastated to not return to the hospital, where he previously worked up to 40 hours a week.

He said: “I’ve met so many friends there over the years and all of them have been in touch to offer support.”

A Sodexo spokeswoman said: “Any misconduct by an employee is addressed through our internal disciplinary procedure, and if an individual is not satisfied with the outcome they have the right to appeal the decision.”

“We can confirm an employee has been dismissed and that individual still has the opportunity to appeal the decision.

“We are unable to comment any further.”


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