A Nissan worker is claiming he was sacked from his £26,000 job for singing Elvis songs on the day the world remembered his death.
Production line worker David Jewers, 37, was suspended after singing along to the stream of tribute songs piped through to employees on the radio. Weeks later, the married father-of-two, from Gateshead, said he was told never to come back to the Washington plant after working there 11 years. He is now taking the firm to an employment tribunal alleging unfair dismissal. Mr Jewers, a part-time crooner on the North East's nightclub circuit, had just returned to work after battling with stress and depression, his father-in-law Alec McFadden, said.
In August last year, on the anniversary of Presley's death, Mr Jewers was belting out a string of the star's hits as they played over the airwaves when he claims he was sharply reprimanded. A supervisor approached him and repeatedly insulted him with a torrent of obscenities, he claimed. Mr Jewers finally snapped and confronted the boss, asking him to stop the abuse. "Ten minutes later he was suspended on full pay - but nothing happened to the supervisor. They then proceeded to go through a disciplinary procedure and after 21 days David was sacked for threatening behaviour, Mr McFadden a senior TUC offical said.
"I think this foreman must have had an obsession against Elvis. Given that the whole world was singing Elvis songs that day you wonder why it has happened," he said. Mr Jewers is to face his former employees at an employment tribunal in Newcastle upon Tyne on January 22.