QLD: Protesters Kicked Out Of RACQ Office

Release date: 10/07/2015

AAP Newswire, by Jamie McKinnell, 10 July 2015

Queensland's peak motoring body RACQ has kicked a group of union protesters out of their Brisbane headquarters after they called for the reinstatement of a sacked tow truck driver.

Murray French, 51, was fired after he rescued a quadriplegic driver from his broken down car on the M1 in February, breaking RACQ's policy when he towed car while the driver was still inside.

Mr French claims the situation required common sense.

"The longer we stayed there, the more dangerous it became," he said outside the company's Eight Mile Plains head office on Thursday.

"There was no way I could get the guy out, unless I grabbed him like a sack of spuds."

More than a dozen Transport Workers' Union (TWU) protesters descended on the RACQ office to demand Mr French be reinstated.

The group was told police would be called if they did not leave after requesting a meeting with management.

TWU secretary Peter Biagini said the union had been treated with contempt.

"We're missing a lot of common sense in our society today," he said.

"Murray used that and he's been crucified for it."

The matter is headed to the Fair Work Commission and RACQ was confident with its evidence because Mr French had created a dangerous situation for both himself and the driver.

"We have these procedures in place for a very good reason - they save lives," RACQ spokesman Paul Turner said.

Mr Turner said RACQ performed 22,000 high-speed motorway clearances every year and what Mr French had done was illegal.

He said Mr French also misled the company when he contacted the dispatch centre by saying he was yet to move the driver.

"What we've seen today unfortunately is the TWU trying to take the law into their own hands, trying to intimidate RACQ ... and coerce RACQ into reversing a decision that we feel very strongly about."

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