A major Australian transport company is in a court battle with a linehaul driver over unfair dismissal allegations.
Eric Pickering worked as a truckie for Linfox, and was also Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) trained and a delegate at the transport company.
Allegedly, Linfox drivers had collectively agreed to cease unsafe work during an early morning meeting in Chullora, after holding concerns for their health and safety.
According to the TWU, Linfox demanded the drivers return to work, with Pickering singled out and sacked – despite none of the other drivers involved losing their jobs.
As the TWU explains, Pickering took his unfair dismissal claim to the Fair Work Commission, where Commissioner McKenna found “there was no valid reason for the dismissal of the applicant” and described the Linfox sacking as “unjust, unfair and unreasonable”.
Linfox was ordered to reinstate Pickering to his job with back-pay.
However the TWU says that Linfox is refusing to take liability for a workers compensation claim made by Pickering for psychological injury, caused by the company’s actions.
The TWU has assisted Pickering to take his case to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Deputy president John Pascoe found that Pickering’s psychological injury “resulted from the administrative action taken by the Respondent (Linfox).”
Pascoe stated that Linfox was unfair and was not reasonable in their actions. The Tribunal has ordered Linfox to pay Pickering’s costs.
Linfox was approached by Big Rigs but has declined to comment on the matter.