A construction worker has been fired after refusing to apologise for a fiery Facebook post attacking an HR manager over an ‘insensitive’ company memo.
Ben Martin, 49, called the manager a ‘f***ing dog’ for the memo, which was sent just hours after a worker committed suicide on the job site, just outside of Darwin.
‘The site will remain open and employees will be expected to work… personal leave will not be be granted without a doctor’s certificate,’ the memo read.
It was the 14th worker to commit suicide on the Inpex work site, an oil and gas export and production site in Howard Springs, ABC News reported.
The company memo was sent out by a Cape PSI-3 HR manager stating that all workers would need a doctors certificate to take personal leave after the most recent suicide on the job’s camp site
Mr Martin, an insulation subcontractor for Inpex, wrote a scathing comment in response to a post made on the Facebook page FIFO Construction Workers 3/1 Forum.
The comment has since been removed however Mr Martin told NT News he had no regrets about stepping up and defending the rights of workers.
When Mr Martin refused to apologise for the comments after he was asked to explain his comments to the company his employment was terminated.
Mr Martin said he knew he was being singled out for having the courage to question the memo.
‘I think I was targeted for posting about contractors’ lack of sensitivity regarding the fact workers have taken their own lives on the project,’ he told NT News.
It was the 14th worker suicide on the Inpex work site ABC News reported
‘It was not a nice thing (for me) to write … but (the) memo didn’t show any sensitivity to anyone, especially considering the timing.’
Mr Martin said he regretted that he had to lose his job over the post but he had no regrets about doing what he thinks is the right thing in making the stand.
JKC project director John Bramley said that workplace health and safety was of paramount importance to the company.
‘The Ichthys Project Onshore LNG Facilities maintains a zero tolerance approach to offensive or intimidating behaviour of any form,’ he said.
He said they investigated the comments and deemed it an appropriate action to remove Mr Martin’s access to the project site and accommodation.
Inpex said they investigated the comments and deemed it an appropriate action to remove Mr Martin’s access to the project site and accommodation
Principal contractor JKC Australia LNG cancelled Mr Martin’s access to the work site and accommodation facility.
Over 8,000 workers are employed on the site which has been operating since 2012, the Howard Springs site is 29km from Darwin ABC News reported.
The biggest issue taken over the letter was that it was released just hours after the work site death and made no reference to grief counselling.
A 2015 research study by the Edith Cowan University, surveyed 629 FIFO workers from 143 different resource companies and found that 28 per cent of those surveyed showed clear indicators of depression.
This is more than double the rate of the general population ABC News reported.
If you are struggling with depression or just need someone to speak to you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Over 8,000 workers are employed on the site which has been operating since 2012, the Howard Springs site is 29km from Darwin