New start for sacked worker

As a result of last weeks story in The Echo, Jon Paterson has offered Jodi Wilff a job at The New Camera House. After working at Harvey Norman Lismore for more than two years, Jodi was fired on the spot for misconduct an allegation she strongly denies.

Jon Paterson had been debating whether or not he needed to hire another worker for his Lismore store The New Camera House.

But after reading Jodi Wilffs story in last weeks Echo he made up his mind.

In the story Jodi spoke about being sacked on the spot for misconduct by her new boss at Harvey Norman, after her boss of two years was transferred to Tasmania. The misconduct tag is something she strongly denies and she feels she has been treated unfairly. However, under new WorkChoices legislation, she has no avenue of redress as unfair dismissal laws now only apply to businesses with 100 employees or more.

Jon said after he received glowing references for Jodi he decided she was the woman for the job. She will start in two weeks time on a casual basis.

Clearly Jodi was passionate about her integrity, he said. And thats a character trait that is appealing to our business. Also I saw it as a situation of a skilled worker becoming available.

Jodi said she was still seeking to have misconduct removed from her separation certificate as she felt it jeopardised gaining future employment. It also resulted in a delay in receiving Centrelink payments and she has been forced to borrow money to pay her rent.

However, despite the stress and worry, Jodi has been overwhelmed by community support. She said total strangers have stopped her in the street to tell her their stories, or those of friends who had also lost their jobs since the new IR laws came into effect.

It does seem to have struck a nerve with people and there does seem to be real concern out there about job security, Jodi said. And I think people are afraid to speak up about it because it might affect their future job prospects.

Regional organiser for the Australian Services Union, Punita Boardman, said she felt Jodis story had resonated with people because it could happen to anyone.

Jodi could have taken the approach that I better keep my mouth shut in case I never get another job, Punita said. Many people do shrink into the background. I hope her story catches the attention of people right across Australia.

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