Some days, coffee is the only thing that will get you through the day. But when a cleaner in Sydney arrived early and had a cup of coffee while waiting for his shift to start, he was sacked!
Mel Gatfield, secretary of United Voice NSW, said it was "outrageous that, in Australia, in 2016, a worker is sacked for having a cup of coffee before his shift".
"His case is indicative of the exploitation and poor treatment many cleaners experience in Australia," she said.
The cleaner said the tenants he cleaned for told him he was welcome to a cup of coffee when he was cleaning. But the cleaner's employer, Glad Group, characterised the coffee drinking as theft!
The employer said the act was "serious misconduct warranting summary dismissal" and had caused a serious risk to its business reputation and profitability.
United Voice represented the cleaner and took his case to the Fair Work Commission. With the help of his union, the cleaner won his unfair dismissal case. He was awarded $9,187.20 in damages, as well as the right to get his old job back.
Everyone deserves fair treatment - and a job they can count on.