Landmark decision in Finland: Sikh bus driver may wear turban at work

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The long ordeal over whether Sikh bus driver Gill Sukhdarshan Singh could wear a turban to work has been decided in his favor, reports Helsingin Sanomat. A decision was reached last week between the Finnish Employers’ Federation of Road Transport (ALT) and Transport Workers’ Union AKT over the interpretation of the bus driver’s employment contract. 

According to ALT and AKT, Sukhdarshan Singh has the right to wear a turban at work if he wants.

Kuvankaappaus 2014-2-25 kello 0.44.39

Read full story here.

Sukhdashan Singh’s employer Veolia has promised to abide by ALT’s and AKT’s interpretation as well as Helsingin Bussiliikkene, Helsinki’s municipal bus company.

The right to wear a turban at work is a historical decision that Sikh bus drivers got in England in the 1969.

Migrant Tales will publish more Tuesday on this landmark decision.

Read update here.

  1. JusticeDemon

    The scope for arranging face-saving climb-downs of this kind is one of the hidden benefits of Finnish corporatism, which provides numerous safety valves to prevent the waste of resources on trivial questions of principle.

    The corresponding question in the UK went all the way to the country’s highest court.

    The Veolia case could be understood from various angles (civil and human rights, criminal discrimination, employee welfare, terms and conditions of employment), each with its own procedure for addressing grievances and settling disputes. At least three of these approaches were tried in this case.

    Cases of this kind should give us pause for thought before complaining that there is too much regulation in Finland.

    We should also note that this outcome involves no grand declaration of principle capable of application in other industries or occupations. It applies only to private sector bus drivers working in public transport.