A PERTH aviation worker sacked for posting pro-Islamic State messages on Facebook has had his airside security access reinstated after gaining work with another air services company.
Nirmal Singh faced the Fair Work Commission to argue unfair dismissal by previous employer Aerocare, and seek $7000 in lost wages.
The Commission heard Mr Singh had written “We All Support ISIS” above a shared post from HT (Hizb ut-Tahrir) Australia about the shooting of police account Curtis Cheng by Islamic youth Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar in Sydney.
There were five posts in total that concerned Aerocare, two of which included pictures of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Under cross-examination by solicitor Stephen Hughes for Aerocare, Mr Singh said he made the posts on Facebook under a different name, and believed he was conversing with a “secret group”.
But two employees of Aerocare who were Facebook friends with Mr Singh, independently raised concerns about the posts with a manager.
Australian Federal Police, Perth Airport and the “client airline” of Aerocare were also made aware of the posts, and the airline requested Mr Singh no longer be allowed to work around its planes.
After three meetings held over four days last October, Mr Singh was told Aerocare was terminating his employment for breach of their social media policy, and demanded he return his airside security pass to Perth Airport for cancellation.
At the Fair Work Commission hearing, Mr Singh argued the posts were “sarcastic” in nature and he did not support Islamic State.
He said he deleted the posts and his Facebook “alias” profile after meeting with his manager.
“There were concerns I understood and I addressed those concerns by offering to delete the posts and the profile but how they breached the social media policy, I don’t understand,” Mr Singh told the Brisbane hearing, from a video link in Perth.
Mr Hughes asked if Mr Singh was aware Australia was on high alert for a terrorist attack which was currently rated “probable”.
“Absolutely and I support that,” answered Mr Singh.
“In relation to ISIS itself you accept that it’s currently listed as a terrorist organisation on the Australian National Security Register?” asked Mr Hughes.
“Absolutely and I’m in support of that,” he responded.
Mr Singh was unable to provide any evidence to support his claim discrimination was a factor in his dismissal and refused to say what company had employed him in a similar ground-handling role less than two months after his dismissal by Aerocare.
Commissioner Jennifer Hunt also excused him from answering a question about whether he disclosed the nature of his dismissal to his new employer.
But he confirmed his airside access had been reinstated by Perth Airport, which could see him working again with the airline that had requested he not be used to handle their freight.
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