Man uses Twisties to ditch work

An electrician was sacked after using a Twisties packet to skip work and play golf — for two years.
An electrician was sacked after using a Twisties packet to skip work and play golf — for two years.

AN ELECTRICIAN from Western Australia was sacked after using a Twisties packet to skip work to allegedly play golf - for two years.

The Fair Work Commission found Tom Colella, 60, was fairly fired after he used the packet to mask his work device's GPS.

The Commission heard the electrician kept his work device inside a foil Twisties packet, which acted as a "Faraday cage" and blocked electromagnetic fields - meaning his location was hidden.

Mr Colella had been employed by Water Corporation WA contractor Aroona Alliance for 20 years before his employers received an anonymous tip-off which claimed he had been playing golf on the job for two years.

He was alleged to have played golf during work hours at least 140 different times, although this could not be proved.

However, Aroona Alliance did find that Mr Colella, who was also a senior union delegate, had committed fraud by claiming to be at work while at a different location for 21 days during April last year.

The scheme was unravelled by Mr Colella's personal digital assistant (PDA), which was used by workers to track work tasks. The PDA showed he had been at home at times he claimed he had completed tasks.

The Electrical Trades Union delegate said his PDA had a "glitch" and that he had phone records to prove he had been unfairly dismissed.

However, commissioner Bernie Riordan said the electrician had been "deliberate in trying to hide his whereabouts and deceive his employer".

"I can find no plausible explanation why Mr Colella would create a Faraday cage around his PDA, except to obstruct the GPS collecting capacity of the device," the commissioner said.

"Mr Colella appears to have been deliberately mischievous in acting in this manner.

"Unless the PDA tracker was faulty for the entire month of April, the only logical conclusion is that Mr Colella was able to somehow operate the device while keeping it in the Faraday cage that he had developed or by only removing it for very brief periods of time to log his jobs but not give away his location."

Topics:  editors picks employment

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