Truckie wins big boss battle to reclaim money

Bob Fysh was awarded $15,000 of owed money in the Chief Industrial Magistrates Court.
Bob Fysh was awarded $15,000 of owed money in the Chief Industrial Magistrates Court. Contributed

A TWEED Heads truck driver has been awarded $15,000 after winning a two-year David and Goliath legal battle against his former multinational employer.

The Chief Industrial Magistrates Court ordered electrical wholesaler Ideal Electrical's France-based parent company Rexel to pay Bob Fysh $15,000 in redundancy and long service leave.

The case was sparked by a new manager who took over the Tweed Heads branch in 2006 and told Mr Fysh he was no longer required as a driver.

Mr Fysh was told he would be made redundant unless he took up a new job as a distribution worker at the company's Currumbin branch. But when Mr Fysh later turned up for work at the Currumbin branch he was told there was no such job available.

Mr Fysh, who had worked for the company for eight years, approached the Transport Workers Union who took up the legal fight for him.

"If it hadn't been for the TWU it (the court win) would never have happened," Mr Fysh said.

"They (Rexel) spent tens of thousands of dollars defending their case."

In his judgment handed down in June, Magistrate Bradd said Rexel had effectively terminated Mr Fysh's job "as Rexel no longer required the work to be done" but in breach of the Fair Work Act, the company had failed to pay him his entitlements.

TWU's Newcastle and Northern sub-branch sec- retary Mick Forbes said: "It's amazing to think that here you have a giant like Rexel and the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing."

Mr Forbes said the lack of communication between the branches caused a lot of "unnecessary inconvenience and distress" to Mr Fysh and his family.

Attempts to contact a Rexel spokeswoman about the court's decision were unsuccessful.

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