Warehouse News: SDA Wins job back for Casual Member
The SDA has had a long tradition of looking after all our members whether they are full-time, part-time or casual. This tradition extends also to those casual members employed in our warehouses.
Recently, the SDA took up a case of a casual member employed in a warehouse who had been terminated by his employer because, in their eyes, he wasn’t prepared to work in what they considered to be a ‘blackout period’. Their reason for dismissal was that the member had ‘abandoned his employment’ because he was unavailable for shifts during a time period which the company had determined was a ‘blackout period’.
The member concerned felt that he had been harshly treated by the company, did not deserve to be sacked, wanted to continue to work for the company and subsequently decided to fight for his reinstatement.
His best decision he made was to join the SDA when he started his employment; his second best decision was to contact his SDA organiser soon after his services were terminated.
Whenever a member is terminated and contacts the union, the organiser always escalates the issue to one of the three SDA industrial officers. All have a legal background and are very experienced in dealing with such matters.
Senior Industrial Officer, Darryn Gaffy, interviewed the member, determined the facts and commenced negotiations with the company.
- The member formally advised the company of his unavailability;
- The member formally advised the company of a short period of being unavailable to do shifts, thus allowing the company the opportunity to offer shifts to other casual employees;
- The member forewarned his employer well in advance of being unavailable because he was going away on a trip;
- The member indicated that at all times he was still an employee and would be returning to his normal availability after his trip.
Darryn Gaffy argued that the employer incorrectly terminated the member’s employment as there was no basis on which to determine there was an abandonment of employment.
Furthermore, on review of all of the circumstances, the termination of employment as a punishment was not warranted. The SDA submitted that the employer had not acted reasonably.
To protect our member’s interests, Darryn lodged an application for unfair dismissal to the Fair Work Commission.
Darryn continued discussions with the employer in order to pursue a resolution.
Darryn sought that the member be reinstated to his former position, that any documentation pertaining to the termination be removed from the member’s personnel file and that the company pays him a monetary settlement.
SDA ACHIEVES REINSTATEMENT
Darryn won on all counts. The member was reinstated, had continuity of employment and was paid a satisfactory monetary amount.
The member was very happy with the outcome, is happy working back in his workplace and is so glad he was an SDA member at the point of dismissal.
Furthermore, he encourages all warehouse employees whether they be full-time part-time or casual to join the SDA. Without the SDA, the member would be job hunting!