A delivery driver for Pizza Hut has been sacked for refusing to deliver in last week’s ice and snow.
Julie Madden refused to turn up for work on Thursday, after suffering a near miss while making deliveries in Great Gonerby on Tuesday night.
She said: “I came out of Pond Street, touched my brakes, but had no control. A car was just a metre from me and close behind that was an HGV. There, but for the grace of God, go I.That was the third time that night I skidded. I decided enough was enough, it was too dangerous.”
Julie, 52, is a former police officer for Greater Manchester Police. She says she is a “very experienced driver,” claiming no accidents or points on her licence in 32 years of driving.
On Wednesday, the Pizza Hut take-away depot in Watergate accepted conditions were dangerous but on Thursday they asked Julie to work, warning she would be fired if she refused. They added other drivers were delivering and coping with the conditions.
She was then fired, with a follow-up text sent to her on Friday saying no notice was necessary as she was still on probation.
Julie, who joined the take-away in November, noted that Lincolnshire Police had warned against unnecessary journeys and many employers were forced to close last week due to ice and snow.
She said: “Pizza is not life saving oxygen. The whole county had come to a standstill but they would want you to risk life and limb to get pizza out.”
Julie says she feels strongly about this, but hasn’t decided about potential legal action. She doubts she wants to return, believing her old job would be “untenable.”
She has now contacted many potential employers, but is struggling to find work, and now wonders how she will pay her rent for the new place she has just moved into at Belton Lane, Grantham.
Grantham Pizza hut takeaway store manager Ryan Norfield confirmed that Julie Madden was fired.
He said she could have worked inside the store on Wednesday, when there was “a little bit of slush.”
On Thursday night, other drivers were working and he “had driven 60 to 70 miles to get to work here from cambridge”.
He added: “Seen as she was on probation, we had to let her go.”
A Pizza Hut spokesperson said: “Ms Madden was employed by our franchisee, PH Group, and it is not appropriate for us to comment on employees of our franchise partners. We can confirm that we are meeting with our franchisee to understand the full situation and to ensure they adhere to our recommended HR procedures.”