Mine worker sacked for poor performance after 27 years.
Mine worker sacked for poor performance after 27 years. agnormark

Golden boy: Sacked from the mines after 27 years

KEN Ingrey received the highest performance rating after 20 years of work at Saraji mine - but five years on he was sacked for poor performance.

He challenged the decision in the Fair Work Commission where he, his employer, and the commissioner Jennifer Hunt agreed he was a skilled boilermaker.

In Commissioner Hunt's decision notice released this month, most of the issues around his performance were focussed on mine owner BHP's software system 1SAP.

The mining giant finished installing the operating system nation wide in 2013, just when Mr Ingrey started to have trouble.

The software compares its resources and logs what jobs people are doing and how long they take.

During the hearing, Commissioner Hunt was told Mr Ingrey was too slow putting information into the company computer, put too much information into it and needed more training.

Mr Ingrey maintained he was told to put everything into the program from the moment he put his tools in the truck - and that he was doing a good job.

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Commissioner Hunt outlined Mr Ingrey claimed that BHP did not have enough evidence of poor performance to fire him.

She wrote that Mr Ingrey argued that apart from "vague and generalised allegations" of poor performance, BHP only identified two incidence in the show cause letters relating to alleged sub-standard work.

He also claimed that because BHP didn't call on the evidence of Keith Blaney, the supervisor who fired Mr Ingrey and decided he failed his performance probation period, meant Mr Blaney's reports should not be used.

He argued against the five incidents BHP highlighted to show his poor performance and disrespect to supervisors.

But, BHP claimed Mr Ingrey's sacking was the culmination of a lengthy and fair process with the aim of improving the performance and behaviour of Mr Ingrey.

"BHP argued that Mr Ingrey exhibited an obstructionist attitude in his work approach and made continual challenges to his supervisors and their attempts at improving his performance," Commissioner Hunt wrote.

And she agreed with the mining giant.

"Mr Ingrey made only mild and sporadic attempts to improve upon his performance and continued to display what could be described as belligerent behaviour during the performance improvement period," Commissioner Hunt wrote in her decision.

"Where he did demonstrate good performance and capability, together with problem solving and improved 1SAP (computer) entries, it was outweighed by other incidents involving (him)."

She found the sacking was fair.