Firing of prankster upheld after South Shore firm loses lucrative contract

In a case sent to a labour tribunal, a South Shore company that makes armoured vehicles is detailed how it lost a lucrative contract with the Kuwaiti military because of a shop floor prank by an employee.  

La Presse reports that last October, some Kuwaiti military officials were touring the plant in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu when the worker decided to pop a plastic bottle by filling it with compressed air.  

The explosion was very loud and the startled Kuwaitis thought a bomb had gone off.  They took up defensive positions around the ranking officer, their hands on their holsters.  

After their abrupt departure, the company never heard anything more about the 100 armoured vehicles they'd intended to buy, a contract that would have created 50 jobs at the plant.  

The worker was fired and although he protested he was just trying to make a joke, an arbitrator has now ruled that his dismissal was justified.