Sacked driver loses case

A Northland truck driver has lost his case for unjustified dismissal after being fired when he was seen by a manager driving on the right-hand side of a steep Northland street.

Galil Moukharris said he did it because his truck's clutch was faulty and it was safer to collect the rubbish by driving downhill rather than uphill.

But Northland Waste said that breached policy and his contract was terminated in January after he had worked for the firm for 18 months.

Mr Moukharris took the matter to the Employment Relations Authority claiming he was unjustifiably dismissed. Northland Waste resisted the claim, saying the sacking was justified because of a significant health and safety breach.

At the Employment Relations Authority hearing, member James Crichton heard that issues over the truck's clutch were raised by Mr Moukharris, but Northland Waste said it was not urgent and parts needed to be bought to fix the problem.

Mr Moukharris was offered alternative trucks but he said neither of them was satisfactory, the hearing was told.

Mr Crichton found that, although Mr Moukharris acted with the best of motives, Northland Waste's decision to dismiss him was what any fair and reasonable employer would do.

- Northern Advocate

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