Scab c**t call is protected industrial action, lawyer claims

A lawyer representing a miner sacked for calling a colleague a "scab c**t" says his actions may be part of protected industrial action.

Last month the ex-Norwich Park worker started the fight with BMA after he was sacked for allegedly calling a non-union employee a "scab c**t".

Walter Meacle was accused of abusing non-union worker Trevor Loader during strike action at the now closed Norwich Park mine in the Bowen Basin.

Meacle is accused of yelling "scab c**t" at Loader and jumping a barrier to give him "the finger" during industrial action.

After investigating the incident BMA terminated Meacle's employment, but he and the Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union deny the event took place.

However according to the Daily Mercury Meacle claims he was yelling "go home", a claim that judge Bruce Lander said was "difficult to accept".

Lawyers representing BMA and Meacle spent three days arguing over whether the accused had done anything wrong.

BMA's lawyer said Meacle's alleged actions were outside expected behaviour; a position which Meacle himself accepted when asked to hypothetically judge similar actions.

The CFMEU's lawyer Warren Friend denied the allegations against Meacle, saying coarse language, such as the word scab, was simply part of the picket line and therefore was protected from BMA's code of conduct.

Meacle continues to fight his dismissal.

 

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