Swedish Train Conductors Wear Skirts to Fight Shorts Ban

After their company decided to ban shorts during work hours, thirteen Swedish train conductors decided to wear skirts during the hot summer months. They’ve become the talk of the internet after photos of them dressed in female attire went viral.

“Of course people stare at you a little when you are on the platform, but you just have to put up with it,” Martin Åkersten, one of the bold conductors, told Swedish newspaper, Mitti. It can get pretty hot in a train cabin during the summer, with temperatures reaching 35 to 40 degrees Celsius, but the Arriva company’s uniform regulations state skirt or long trousers. Faced with a choice, some of its male employees have opted for the skirts as a way to cool off. Åkersten and some of his colleagues got the green light from their manager a couple of weeks ago, and since then others have joined in the protest, while others have gone back to their usual uniforms. Mainly it’s the train conductors who don skirts, but a few members from the passenger car staff have also oped for them.

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Photo: Martin Åkersten

Arriva, which operates Stockholm’s Roslagsbanan train services approves of its employees choice, and says the skirts look more presentable than shorts. “Our thinking is that one should look decent and proper when representing Arriva and the present uniforms do that. If the man only wants [to wear] a skirt then that is OK. To tell them to do something else would be discrimination,” company communications manager Tomas Hedenius told reporters.

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Photo: Martin Åkersten

Despite claims that shorts make employees look overly relaxed on the job, Arriva has announced the issue of uniforms will be back on the agenda at an upcoming company meeting scheduled for September.

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Photo: Martin Åkersten

 

Sources: The Local, BBC News


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