Morrisons letter to worker suspended for wearing Poppy and Help for Heroes wristband
THIS is the letter Morrisons supermarket sent to one of its staff who wore a Poppy and Help for Heroes wristband.
Adam Austin worked at a Morrisons in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
A Morrisons spokesman explained:
“It’s all about food hygiene. The rules are the same in a restaurant kitchen as they are in a supermarket food preparation area. We have a dress code and the dress code is primarily around the health and safety of the staff member and the members of the public…
“As a company we encourage store colleagues to show their support for the Royal British Legion by wearing poppies in October and November. We currently ask that colleagues adhere to a company dress code which precludes bracelets and pins. However, we have reviewed these guidelines and colleagues working in non-fresh food preparation areas will now be permitted to wear a registered charity wristband.”
Is a Poppy only for autumn? Mr Austin says he was wearing the Poppy as a tribute to Lee Rigby, the soldier murdered in Woolwich. If the Poppy is a sign of remembrance for fallen soldiers, why can’t it be worn all year round? Wars don’t stop for summer.
But is the Poppy also a political statement? Would Mr Austin be allowed to wear a Poppy in Morrisons Barack Street, Glasgow, store on the day Celtic were playing Rangers at home? To many Celtic fans the Poppy is a symbol of Britain’s imperialist wars. For them it is a symbol of death not sacrifice. And then there’s that enforced two-minute’s silence…
If the Poppy is a symbol of the fallen and of freedom, banning it makes Morrisons look bad. But the the Poppy is also a political symbol. It can be worn to show support for our armed forces and wars being fought. And that will not be to everyone’s taste.
Morrisons error was in not letting its staff be free to make their own decisions.