QLD towie takes public support to court
A sacked Queensland tow-truck driver is taking on the RACQ, after winning the support of his union and the general public.
Driver Murray French was fired from the RACQ for towing a customer car around 400 metres with the customer still behind the wheel.
It is against the group’s safety protocol, but Mr French says he made the exception because the driver was disabled and stuck on the side of the highway.
The paraplegic customer broke down on a narrow shoulder of Brisbane’s busy M1 Motorway, but was too close to the road to safely access his wheelchair or exit his car.
Mr French towed the vehicle to a nearby off-ramp, the nearest safe point for the man to exit.
His story was presented on A Current Affair, and was the basis of a Transport Workers Union (TWU)-led protest at the RACQ’s headquarters.
But the RACQ says Mr French is not the hero portrayed by the union and media.
The authority says there were safer and more appropriate alternatives to the driver’s actions.
“In dangerous situations such as these our drivers are required to seek assistance,” RACQ executive general manager advocacy Paul Turner says.
“Unfortunately, in this instance, the illegal and unsafe action was undertaken by the driver before he made contact, as required.
“No assistance was sought, no advice was sought, and the driver attempted to cover up his actions after the fact. That is unacceptable.”
Mr French has applied for an unfair dismissal remedy with the Fair Work Commission (FWC), and Mr Turner says the RACQ will be happy to defend the dismissal if the hearing takes place.
“The RACQ is happy to discuss this issue in the FWC, as requested by the TWU,” he said.
“Unfortunately the TWU would rather invade RACQ’s Club headquarters with paid protesters.”