Aussie Man Claims He Was Sacked From His Job Because He Was 'Too Fat'

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Aussie Man Claims He Was Sacked From His Job Because He Was 'Too Fat'

A Melbourne dad has slammed Australia Post for firing him two weeks into his role as a forklift driver for being 'too fat'.

After being laid off from his previous job, Michael Van Cuylenburg accepted a job in the mail sorting centre role. He was made to undergo a medical examination, after which he was told to go home and not return to work because he weighed about 130kg.

"The forklift I was driving was rated two-and-a-half tonne," he told Channel 9's A Current Affair. "I didn't see myself as two-and-a-half tonne. I think it's unfair for people like myself who can do the job."

Australia Post said its forklift seats could only hold operators who weighed up to 120kg, despite the availability of seats which could accommodate users of 150kg and beyond.


Van Cuylenburg said that since being abruptly fired from Australia Post he has struggled to keep food on the table for his family after already withdrawing two lots of his superannuation.

"I'm not asking for a million dollars a week," he said.

Australia Post has since doubled down on its decision, saying Van Cuylenburg did not meet pre-placement requirements and 'it would have been unsafe for him to continue in his role'.

The company explained in a statement: "The safety requirements and compliance ratings for powered forklifts are specified to a seat weight rating of 120kg."


Victorian Secretary of the Communication Workers Union Leroy Lazaro called the dismissal 'disturbing', adding: "It's like they just used him for a while and then they just chucked him (out)."

Van Cuylenburg said that Autralia Post made no effort to redeploy him in the business as he was fully capable of doing other tasks.

An Australia Post spokesperson said it had a duty of care for all employees and the safety of its people was its 'absolute priority'.

"We will not put them in a position that compromises their safety," they added.


Mr Van Cuylenburg said he was still looking for work and applying for up to 70 positions a week.

"In this day and age in any business, if you have someone who can do the job and they turn up and learn fast - why would you get rid of them?"

It comes in the wake of another scandal that has rocked Australia Post, with CEO Christine Holgate being forced to resign.

The former boss handed in her resignation yesterday after she admitted four executives were given thousands of dollars' worth of Cartier watches from Australia Post for doing a 'good job' in October 2018.


Holgate insisted that no taxpayer money was used for the gifts and backed the decision to hand out the reward, saying: "They were a small number of senior people who had put in an inordinate amount of work and they did receive an award.

"They were a Cartier watch of about a value of $3,000 each. I didn't actually purchase them. They were organised through my office on behalf of the chair and I."

Featured Image Credit: A Current Affair

Topics: News, Australia

Jessica Lynch
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