Trucker Says Bad Cell Reception To Blame For His Firing, Company Offers Job Back
Chicago, Illinois – A truck driver who lost his job after his dispatcher accused him of texting and driving has since been offered his job back, but the trucker told his former employer “no thanks!”
52-year-old truck driver Glen Kraft drove a dedicated route for Nestle each day from East Dundee to Appleton, Wisconsin and back.
Kraft told local news outlet CBS2 Chicago that he was traveling along Route 25 recently when he heard his phone notify him of a text message.
The message was from his boss. So, Kraft says after entering onto the I-90 West expressway decided to pull over to the shoulder to check the message.
He said he read the message and responded while parked.
He went on his way, but it wasn’t long before he received another text message, so Kraft once again pulled over to check the message.
After responding, he set out again on his way, but this time was different.
About 15 minutes later he heard what he described as the “voop” sound alerting him the message had just gone through.
He thought to himself he could be in some trouble.
Kraft’s elog recorded his truck in motion at the time the text was delivered to his boss.
In an interview with Fleet Owner, Kraft said this happened to him once before, but “nothing came of it.”
This time would be different though.
Kraft said it wasn’t long before he was confronted by his manager.
“He goes, ‘you were texting and driving.’ I said I wasn’t texting and driving. When I sent that text out, I was sitting on the shoulder,” Kraft told CBS2.
Kraft was suspended and then subsequently terminated by the company.
He is contracted with Boost Mobile which is a reseller of Sprint, and according to CBS2’s reporting, a Boost Mobile map shows service is spotty in the location where Kraft had pulled over.
In fact, CBS2 reporter Lauren Victory went to the exact location Kraft was when he sent the text.
A photographer on her team sent a text message from his work phone to his personal phone.
According to CBS2, the text took nine minutes to go through.
According to numerous reports, a Boost Mobile spokesperson acknowledged service can be spotty in that area.
Further, the spokesperson confirmed a text sent in an area with bad reception will be delivered once better reception is achieved, and that the time stamp on the text reveals when it actually goes through, not at the moment it is sent.
Kraft believes Nestle’s motivation for firing him was retribution for pointing out a safety issue at the company which he said got one of the higher-ups in trouble.
He received a commendation for bringing it to the company’s attention, but he said it likely upset some executives higher in the chain of command.
“I kind of felt that this was payback. I got a feeling he looked to see where I was [when I texted]. I think he was trying to catch me doing something wrong,” Kraft told Fleet Owner.
He quickly filed an appeal of his termination with Nestle’s human resource department arguing poor reception was to blame for the entire incident.
“I don’t know how you could be fired for a bad signal, or suspended,” Kraft told CBS2. “Why would I text and drive and text it to my boss?”
Kraft, who has been driving professionally since 1989, then called his former company Black Horse Carriers to see if he could get back on with them.
He had left the Carol Stream, Illinois-based company a year and a half earlier to go to work for Nestle.
Black Horse Carriers took him back. However, according to a brand new report, Kraft said he was recently offered his job at Nestle back along with back pay.
“I guess they [Nestle] knew my next action was going to be a lawsuit and they couldn’t win it,” he is quoted as saying by Fleet Owner.
He has since sent his resignation letter to Nestle.
WATCH CBS2’s original report below.