Transport company accused of ripping off driver


Transport company to face court over accusations of ripping off a casual truck driver and then refusing to reimburse him

A transport company will be hauled before court after being accused of ripping off a casual truck driver and then refusing to reimburse him.

The Federal Workplace Ombudsman claims Gold Coast-based Geoff Burke Golf Adventures has committed six breaches of the Workplace Relations Act, which include underpaying the driver $13,300.

As well as seeking reimbursement for the driver, the Ombudsman will also take action against Geoffrey Alan Burke, a co-owner and the director of the company.

However, Burke says he will "most definitely" defend the allegations, claiming he paid the driver above the Award rate.

The Ombudsman will allege the driver was paid $15.50 an hour instead of $18.77 an hour between March 2006 and January 2007.

According to the federal agency, the company did not reimburse the driver for working overtime, on the weekends and public holidays and failed to pay tea money and shift allowances.

Under the Act, companies can be fined a maximum $33,000, while Burke also faces a $6600 fine if he is found guilty of workplace breaches.

The case is due to be held in the Federal Magistrates Court in Brisbane. A spokesman for the Ombudsman says the agency has just filed court documents and a date for proceedings has not been set.

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