Two Linfox employees who were stood down after speaking to the media about alleged workplace bullying have returned to work.
National Union of Workers (NUW) delegates Michael Manolitsis, of Maribyrnong, and Ken Price, of Hillside, were stood down after speaking to the Weekly on October 16 when more than 100 workers protested outside Linfox’s Truganina distribution centre.
NUW organiser Matt Toner said the two employees, one of whom is an occupational health and safety representative, returned to work late last week.
“The NUW thought that it was outrageous that the company was going to stand down an OHS rep for speaking out about OHS issues,” he said.
“We put the company on notice that we were going to file proceedings in the Federal Court and that brought about a speedy resolution.
“The guys have unfortunately been given a warning for speaking out about OHS issues and we’re still not very happy with that, but at least they have their jobs and they’re back at work.”
Mr Manolitsis told the Weekly on October 16 that he was speaking out to raise awareness of workplace bullying for all employers.
“We don’t accept it in the schoolyard, we don’t accept in the footy fields any more,” he said. “Why are we accepting it at a workplace?”
Linfox group manager Gary Max said the two delegates had “received appropriate disciplinary action.”
In earlier statements, Mr Max said Linfox had “strict processes” for dealing with complaints.
He said 700 people worked at the Truganina centre and recent complaints had come from a group of 200 people represented by the NUW.
At the protest, the Weekly spoke to numerous male and female workers who said they had been bullied and saw many signed worker statements that are expected to be investigated by WorkCover.