Disobedient driver loses appeal against Australia Post


Australia Post's decision to sack a truck driver for refusing to load and unload his vehicle has been upheld by Fair Work Australia

By Brad Gardner | June 7, 2010

Australia Post's decision to sack a truck driver for refusing to load and unload his vehicle has been upheld by Fair Work Australia.

Wayne Darvell failed in his appeal against the decision of Deputy President Hamilton who in March this year found Australia Post did not act harshly in terminating the driver on July 7 last year.

The bench of Fair Work Australia rejected the claim that Darvell refused to load and unload his truck due to occupational health and safety concerns.

"We are unable to conclude that his Honour so erred because we, like his Honour, are not persuaded that Mr Darvell genuinely and reasonably believed he had occupational health and safety grounds to refuse to unload his truck," the bench ruled.

"Mr Darvell's actions and the surrounding circumstances are contrary to him having such a belief."

According to Fair Work Australia, Darvell declined opportunities from Australia Post to raise concerns over the company's decision to require drivers to load and unload vehicles from June 1, 2009.

It dismissed Darvell's letter to Australia Post that outlined his issues with the company's policy.

"This was more than a month after he was made aware by Australia Post of their proposal to have the drivers load and unload their trucks from 1 June 2009 and five days after he was first asked by Australia Post to unload his truck but refused to do so," the bench ruled.

Fair Work Australia also rejected Darvell's claim that Hamilton erred because other employees who engaged in similar conduct were not sacked.

It upheld Hamilton's finding that employees were treated differently due to their work histories and Darvell's poor performance record.

"For the reasons given we are not persuaded his Honour erred in his decision on Mr Darvell's unfair dismissal application," the bench ruled.

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