Since being sacked from Appin mine over that controversial undie protest miner Dave McLachlan has taken up a slightly ironic job – selling income protection insurance.
“If somebody has said to me four or five months ago that I’d be selling insurance I wouldn’t have believed them,” he said. “But here I am.”
Finding a job while he launched an unfair dismissal hearing was vital, partially because he can't touch the annual leave pay-out he got after he was sacked.
“All the legal advice said that I’m not to touch that money because if my unfair dismissal case is successful, the company’s within their right to ask for that money back,” he said.
The CFMEU’s Appin Colliery lodge president, Mr McLachlan was dismissed by employer South32 in April after miners wore their underwear for a 10-minute protest in March over a delay in the company setting up a promised laundry service.
South32 has said Mr McLachlan was sacked because the protest was unprotected industrial action and did not create an “inclusive workplace for all”.
Mr McLachlan’s case will be heard next month and the union movement is showing their support for him.
The latest example saw MUA members drape some giant undies on the back of a boat in Port Kembla on Thursday.
“It’s highlighting to South32 that we’re not going away and that it’s being highliighted more and more,” the CFMEU’s Lee Webb said of the protest.
“The wave isn’t dying down, it’s gaining momentum if anything.”