'It made me feel sick' - Bosch factory worker sacked after 47 years
PUBLISHED: 07:30 13 September 2019
A factory worker with almost 50 years of service has hit out at his former employers claiming he was "unfairly" sacked.
Roger Sparkes, from Stowmarket, was dismissed from the town's Bosch Lawn and Garden Factory in June.
He was given his marching orders after being spotted at The Suffolk Show when taking time off work due to injury.
However, the 62-year-old believes the affair has been one big misunderstanding.
"I was cutting down trees in my garden and I slipped off the ladder and did my ribs in", Mr Sparkes explained.
"I went to the doctor and he said they were badly bruised and I should take it easy for a couple of weeks."
The accident took place on Friday, May 24, and the worker took the following week off to recover.
He said he did not think to get a doctor's note as he had two weeks of holiday booked from June 3, and planned to use the time to further recuperate.
On May 30, he took his son to The Suffolk Show, a decision which would prove catastrophic.
"I had nothing to hide, Bosch has a stall there and I went round and said 'hi'", said Mr Sparkes.
"But after they said if I was well enough to go round The Suffolk Show I was well enough go to work."
When Mr Sparkes returned to work after his holiday he was given an envelope informing him he was being dismissed for misconduct.
At the time of the dismissal he was the site's longest serving employee, having working at the factory for decades before Bosch took over in 1995. "It made me feel absolutely sick. The doctor had advised me a gentle walk was better than just sitting around the house", said Mr Sparkes.
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"I didn't think to get a doctor's note because I was only taking one week off and the rest was holiday."
In May, Bosch announced it would be ending its manufacturing at the Suffolk factory by the end of the year, resulting in around 125 redundancies.
Mr Sparkes added: "I wanted to retire on August 7, 47 years to the day since I joined. I would have been retired by now.
Following a failed appeal, it is understood Mr Sparkes and Unite Union are in the process of taking legal action against the firm.
Bosch declined to comment when contacted.