Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/18/blouse_rumpus/
Rail workers get shirty with see-through blouses
Little left to passengers' imagination
Female staff on National Express's East Coast line connecting London and Edinburgh have refused to sport new uniforms because the blouses leave "little to the imagination" of passengers, the Daily Mail reports.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association said that staff had returned the offending clothing to the company demanding a less transparent alternative. Official Brian Brock explained that National Express chief exec Richard Bowker is "famous for not wearing jackets or ties", and added: "But he doesn't wear see-through shirts and we don't see why our female members should wear see-through blouses. The blouses are simply too thin and too cheap. This is yet another example of National Express cutting costs at every corner."
Brock said of the more than 500 female employees on the East Coast line: "All the female staff take a pride in their work and this is reflected in their existing uniforms which are smart and professional. All they want is for their new uniforms to be equally smart and professional."
A National Express spokesman offered: "We have undertaken wearer trials for the past six months and this issue did not arise. We will of course change the fabric of the shirts if there is a problem. We are now liaising with the manufacturer."
Brock, however, refused to let Blousegate lie, and concluded: "The sooner National Express realise that they have to run a top-class rail service if they want to attract and retain passengers the better. Cost-cutting penny pinching measures are self-defeating. They will drive away passengers and eventually be unable to afford to pay government the £1.4bn franchise premium."
The Daily Mail has resisted, as have we at El Reg, the temptation to illustrate this shocking story with a suitably graphic see-though blouse image. The Sun, though, has splendidly managed to track down a stock see-though blouse snap, the better for East Coast line passengers to ponder exactly what they're not copping an eyeful of. The NSFW pic can be found here. ®