Translink wristband ban condemned

MID-Ulster DUP MLA Ian McCrea has condemned Translink for banning staff from wearing wristbands to support soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

“I am finding it extremely hard to understand the rationality behind the decision by Translink to ban all staff from wearing wristbands in support of our soldiers that are risking their life’s in Afghanistan.

“The wearing of these wristbands is an outward, inoffensive way of showing our support for our soldiers and it also represents that our soldiers are never too far from our thoughts.

“Translink have said that this move is designed to create a “neutral” working environment, but this is contradictory as a soldier’s duty is to protect his country and all those in it, irrespective of religion or race and this is the very definition of neutral,” said Mr McCrea who is also on the Regional Development Committee.

“I will be writing to the Minister for Regional Development on the matter seeking this decision to be reversed.”

A Translink spokesperson said: ‘Our overriding concern and duty is to create a neutral working environment in which all our employees feel at ease.

“To achieve this, we follow guidance from the Equality Commission in relation to our policy on the display and wearing of flags, emblems, badges along with uniform /dress to work code.

“We have not ‘banned’ any specific wristband; our uniform/dress code specifically allows only the following badges to be worn at work: company ID, customer service or trade union badge.

“Exceptions to this include time bound emblems such as a shamrock or a poppy badge during the appropriate periods.

“This policy is supported by the company’s trade unions.”