A Melbourne-based small trucking company has been hit with four unfair dismissal claims after they were left with no choice but to terminate the employment of drivers who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccination.
Spudo Haulage, which employs 13 truck drivers to deliver materials to construction sites across Melbourne, was forced to let go of close to half of its employees when the Victorian Government introduced mandates dictating that all construction workers would need to be vaccinated.
“We were angry, we were frustrated, we felt in an impossible situation because the last thing we wanted to do was interfere in our employees private life,” Spudo Haulage owner Carolyn Murphy told A Current Affair reporter Alexis Daish.
“We didn’t want to tell them what to do with their health, with their bodies.”
When six of the 13 truck drivers employed by Spudo Haulage indicated they would not be getting the vaccine, Ms Murphy was told by the company she contracts to that if an unvaccinated driver turned up at a site, they and their load of asphalt would be turned away – at Spudo Haulage’s cost.
“They didn’t want to participate in long hour long conversations, it was quite blunt and short and sharp and to the point,” Ms Murphy claimed about the conversations held with the six employees.