Public apology to bullying victim


A SUNBURY employer accused of a campaign of severe bullying and harassment  against a former staff member has agreed to make an extraordinary public apology  to the worker and his union.

Dean Hutchinson, who will also receive a confidential payout, said that while  working for Sunbury Wall Frames & Trusses he was regularly shot at with a  nail-gun by a supervisor and was struck on the head with a large piece of wood  thrown at him, which later caused him to vomit.

Mr Hutchinson said he sustained a broken thumb and wrist just two weeks after  warning his boss that a machine was dangerous, had his pay docked after taking  an injured colleague to hospital, and said staff were banned from bringing their  own fans to work as it would use power.

Co-owner Danny Schneider denied the claims when they were first reported by The Age in late April and then in subsequent interviews with other  media. But as part of a settlement that will give Mr Hutchinson a confidential  payout, he has also agreed to run a large advertisement in the first five pages  of The Age apologising to Mr Hutchinson and his union.

The advertisement, which is set to run as a quarter-page advertisement on  September 20 on page five, will say that Sunbury Wall Frames & Trusses and  Mr Schneider: ''Publicly apologise to Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy  Union member and employee Dean Hutchinson for the hurt, distress and humiliation  caused in the workplace on 29-30 March 2010,'' the advertisement said.

''SWFT and Mr Schneider apologise to the CFMEU (Forestry and Furnishing  Products Division) for his reckless comments about the union being 'akin to a  terrorist organisation'.''

Mr Schneider, in an interview with industry newsletter Workforce Daily  in May, said about the union. ''I think they're no different to al-Qaeda.''

Mr Schneider through his representative, the Victorian Employers Chamber of  Commerce and Industry, declined to comment yesterday.

CFMEU furnishing products division state secretary Leo Skourdoumbis said Mr  Schneider had made unjustified remarks ''about the union and Dean'' and that  complaints were being received from former employees. He said the apology meant  more to Mr Hutchinson than financial compensation.


From The Age.

Author: The Age

Tags: User:Teacher;User:Student;Construction;Bullying;Causes of OHS incidents;News items