At an early morning meeting in Chullora, Linfox drivers had collectively agreed to cease unsafe work, holding genuine concerns for their health and safety. Linfox simply demanded that drivers return to work, not deal with the issues at hand. However, Eric was unfairly dismissed; Linfox singled out Eric to sack him. None of the other drivers involved were actually sacked by Linfox. It is a FoxFail where Linfox “shot the messenger”.
With the TWU beside him, Eric took an unfair dismissal claim to the Fair Work Commission. Fair Work 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 has been ordered to fully reinstate Eric to his job with back-pay.
Linfox however refused to take liability for a workers compensation claim made by Eric for psychological injury, caused by their actions. The TWU helped Eric take his case to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Deputy President John Pascoe found that Eric’s psychological injury “resulted from the administrative action taken by the Respondent (Linfox).” The Deputy President stated that Linfox was unfair and was not reasonable in their actions. The Tribunal ordered Linfox to pay Eric’s costs.