December 17, 2020

TWU Delegate and HSR Eric Pickering Reinstated At Linfox

Unjust, unfair and unreasonable is how the latest “FoxFail” has been described at Linfox by the Fair Work Commission.

Linfox failed TWU Delegate and Health and Safety Rep, Eric Pickering, by terminating his job and making unfair allegations against him. Eric Pickering is a linehaul driver at Linfox Intermodal.

Supported by the TWU, Eric took an unfair dismissal claim to the Fair Work commission. Commissioner McKenna, found “there was no valid reason for the dismissal of the applicant”.

At an early morning meeting in Chullora, Linfox drivers collectively agreed to cease unsafe work, holding genuine concerns for their health and safety. Drivers wanted Linfox management commit to working through the issues they had raised and if that was to occur, the group felt that they would be able to return to work safely.

Linfox had FoxFailed by not facing up to driver concerns over telematics in their vehicle cabs, the removal of payments to linehaul drivers for work time outside their driving, and issues around the introduction of a new Driver Behaviour Policy.

Despite company claims that they “put the safety of people, customers and communities first”, Linfox management’s response was yet another FoxFail. Local managers made accusations of illegal industrial action and demanded that drivers return to work.

Management also threatened drivers with their jobs, another FoxFail. It took the involvement of the National Linfox HR Manager to commit to talks and the drivers returned to work.

Commissioner McKenna found another FoxFail, in that Eric, “alone among all his colleagues, was dismissed”. Linfox described Eric as having an “uncooperative attitude”.

That means Linfox singled out Eric and fired him. None of the other drivers involved were actually fired by Linfox. It’s a FoxFail where Linfox ‘shot the messenger’.

Linfox has been ordered to fully reinstate Eric to his job with backpay.

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