Wednesday, May 10, 2006

AMC Theaters: We prefer no tatoos on our veterans

AMC Movie Theaters recently fired an 80-year old World War II veteran, William C. Smith of Bridgewater, New Jersey, because the two tatoos on his arms -- a Marine Corps emblem and his Marine Corps serial number -- were a violation of the company's dress code. It seems that the company doesn't like its employees to have visable tatoos, a policy I can somewhat understand given some of the bizarre tatoos I've seen on people roaming the streets.

But come on! We're talking about an 80-year old guy who served as a Marine in World War II when he was 17. Give the guy a break! Not to mention, Mr. Smith, who has been working as a ticket taker for 15 years and has been employed by AMC for the last 4 years, is an exemplary employee who works on Thanksgiving Day in order to let other employees spend the holiday with their families.

Smith worked during the Friday matinee, weeks of local school vacations, and holidays.

Every year, his family postpones Thanksgiving to the following weekend so he can work that day — one of the busiest for movie theaters — and fellow employees can have the day off with their families.

"I'm from a generation that grew out of the Depression. When you have a job, you make damn sure to hold on to it. People come around every day looking for work," said Smith, who has been working since he was 14 years old and delivered beer on his bicycle, using 15 cents from his paycheck for movie tickets. "When I had a job, I did what I was supposed to do and a little extra."

The good news is that AMC has done some back-peddalng and has re-hired Mr. Smith (with back pay). The guy deserves a raise, an apology and our thanks.

Read more about it here.

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