A 64-year-old ground worker is seeking compensation for age discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal after complaining a Kidderminster building and civil engineering firm wanted to “get rid of him” by stopping his transport to work.
R O Donaghey Building and Civil Engineering Co Ltd, of Oldington Trading Estate, Kidderminster, opposed the compensation claims at Birmingham Employment Tribunal by Cyril McClair.
The tribunal was told that Mr McClair had worked for the firm for 10 years at various sites, the construction of a BMW car storage plant at Hams Hall being one of the latest.
He said the Donaghey firm arranged transport to take him to work from his home at Kenilworth but complained it stopped.
He said he normally started work at 7am and said it became impossible to travel to his work site by public transport.
Mr McClair alleged the firm had several minibuses and vans and said that he was forced to resign when the firm’s transport arrangement stopped. He said no other work colleagues lived in his area who could take him to work.
“They must have had a motive to get me out,” he told the tribunal. He alleged there had been a breach of trust and confidence. The firm opposed the compensation claims.
Mr Kuldeep Chehal, representing the respondents, denied the firm provided transport for Mr McClair and said getting to work was his own personal responsibility, presumably by getting a lift from workmates.
Mr Chehal also denied the firm had a transport fleet and told the tribunal that Mr McClair had signed a new employment contract.
“If the firm wanted to get rid of Mr McClair why would they ask him to sign a new contract,” asked Mr Chehal.
Tribunal judge Helen Harding also said she wondered why Mr McClair had signed the contract in view of the circumstances. Mr McClair said he found the situation puzzling.
Mr Chehal denied age discrimination was involved or that the firm forced him out.
He said several employees were in their seventies and that Mr Donaghey himself was 71.
The hearing was listed for two days and a tribunal decision is to be made at a later date.
Article from Kidderminster Shuttle