Filipino worker sacked in Australia for toilet habits: report

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 27 2009 09:52 AM | Updated as of Jan 27 2009 07:45 PM

A Filipino machine operator was reportedly sacked by an engineering firm in Australia allegedly for his toilet habits.

A Townsville Bulletin report posted on news.com.au said Amador Bernabe, 43, a Filipino machine operator was kicked out of his job by the Townsville Engineering Industries (TEI) for using water, instead of toilet paper, to clean himself during toilet visits.

The report said that according to Bernabe, he was sacked last week after his foreman saw him carry a bottle of water into the company’s comfort room.

The foreman allegedly told Bernabe that it was prohibited to bring water into the toilet. Bernabe told the foreman that "It's my personal hygiene. I didn't break any law. I didn't break any rules of the company."

The Filipino alleged that the foreman threatened to tell the management about his toilet habits.

Bernabe said the manager confronted him about the incident and was told to "follow the Australian way" of using the toilet or he will be terminated.

Byron Carter, TEI's company manager, confirmed that Bernabe was terminated for his toilet habits because it poses "a serious health risk."

Carter said other company employees had been complaining about Bernabe's unhygienic way of using the toilet. He said the Filipino had also been warned and advised several times before he was sacked from his job.

"Mr Bernabe's technique to cleanse himself with water after his toiletry visits leaves the toilet cubical splashed with water suspected to be contaminated with feces and wet soggy toilet paper lying on the floor," the company manager said in the report.

Rick Finch of the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union, meanwhile, said in the report that the engineering firm's actions were "atrocious" and an "invasion of a person's rights and cultural beliefs."

"If it wasn't so disgusting it would almost be laughable," Finch said.