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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Asian Beauty:Mao.M | Train driver faces ax over 3-year-old son's tantrum

Despite receiving hundreds of complaints, Tobu Railway Co. appears poised to go ahead with plans to dismiss a train driver whose 3-year-old son threw a tantrum and rode in the cabin of a train with him for a few minutes, according to railroad officials.
As of Friday night, about 1,500 complaints had been forwarded to the company, complaining that it was being too harsh on the driver by planning to fire him.
But Tobu, which clearly bans third parties from riding in train driver's cabin but does not specify punishments for offenders, remains unbowed.
"Our inclination toward dismissal will not change," a Tobu spokesman said. "We have a duty to provide safe rail services and this should not have happened."
Tobu said the trouble occurred on the Tobu Noda Line just before noon on Nov. 1. The driver's wife and children got onto the front carriage of the train when it arrived at Kasukabe Station. As the train took off, the driver's 3-year-old son began banging on the window separating the driver's cabin from the carriage.
When the train arrived at the next station, the driver opened a window between his cabin and the carriage. The boy came into the driver's cabin, where he sat down on the floor and began crying loudly.
As it was time for the train to depart, the driver in the 30s set off with his crying son beside him. When the train arrived at the next station, the driver handed his son back to his wife.
Tobu learned of the incident and ordered the man to remain at home. It is moving toward firing him. Tobu's duty regulations forbid third parties from entering driver's cabin, but the rules do not outline punishments for those who break them.
When Tobu's plans went public, it was flooded by complaints, saying that its plans for dismissal were too harsh. One person who complained said that firing the driver could have horrible psychological impact on the boy if he learned he had been responsible for his father losing his job.


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