Staff 'sacked for voicing health & safety concerns'

    Staff 'sacked for voicing health & safety concerns'

    A worker employed by depots run by Wincanton claims to have been sacked following complaints about health and safety.

    Dale Underwood operated lorries for the Co-op and complained about the dangerous overloading being alleged practiced.

    Underwood faced police investigation following an allegation of blackmail in a letter received by a Wincanton manager, demanding £50,000 for video evidence of the dangerous state in the trailers – which would be posted and shamed online if not paid for.

    Police have not found evidence that Underwood sent the letter.

    According to The BBC, Underwood said: “The police came to my house, took every bit of equipment I had in my home, stripped my house which was very embarrassing for me because the neighbours see police taking my PCs.”

    An employment tribunal ruled that Underwood had been unfairly dismissed for requesting back pay, a statutory right - not for the alleged blackmail letter.

    Underwood said: “It's not about money - it's more about what this company did to me and what they wanted to do to me.”

    Another candidate employed by Wincanton was supposedly dismissed for smoking an e-cigarette on the Huntingdon premises.

    Keith Joy, sacked in June 2014, said that managers pushed the smoking allegation after he complained that his signature was being forged on vehicle safety sheets.

    His claim for unfair dismissal was successful.

    Natalia Samuel, who filed a disability discrimination case against Wincanton after being injured at work, said she was trailed and videoed by private detectives.

    A DVD was recorded of Samuels shopping at a supermarket, claiming that she had been misleading about her injury. The tribunal ruled unfair dismissal, and said “no reasonable employer would have behaved in this way.”


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