Bus driver Kirk Rockwell can keep wearing his Santa suit behind the wheel.
After mass public outcry, Coast Mountain Bus Co. has backed down on an edict earlier issued this month that prohibited Rockwell from driving his decorated his bus as Santa Claus.
Rockwell, who has dressed as Santa for 16 years, refused to follow the order — even though the company told him it was against the company’s uniform policy – saying he believed he was doing something good for his passengers in Metro Vancouver.
“He’s a rebel with a Claus,” said Nathan Woods, president of Unifor 111, which represents bus drivers.
Rockwell was flabbergasted last week when he received an edict from Coast Mountain Bus Co. prohibiting him from wearing his Santa suit, even though he had received approval from his supervisor in November.
He was further offended by a suggestion by Coast Mountain that he had misrepresented himself to his supervisor when he said he had dressed up as Santa for 16 years.
“At first I took that as an insinuation I was lying,” Rockwell, 51, said. “I’ve been doing this for so many years . . . I’ve never had a problem with the company or management until this year.”