Rant against Muslims, gays not enough to cost miner's job

MINING giant BHP Billiton will rehire a truck driver who was sacked after describing Muslims as having "1400 years of bloody inbreeding".

The Fair Work Commission has found the BHP Billiton subsidiary was too harsh when it sacked a worker for making lewd, sexist and bigoted comments on the site.

Although a majority of the Commission found against BHP, one commissioner said it "beggars belief" that such views on a race or religion would not be treated as only a "mid-range" issue, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Making jokes or comments that are inherently Islamophobic and homophobic is likely to negatively affect the mental health of people in the workplace ranging from anxiety to depression," Commissioner Leigh Johns said.

The driver's comments could be heard by up to 100 colleagues across the Hunter Valley mine site, after they were made on a staff radio channel.

Another driver said the government should hire hit men to "cull dirtbag Australians" and "people who don't deserve to be in this country".

The sacked miner also made homophobic comments.

When a worker asked a colleague what book they were reading, the miner said, "that book on 50 ways to eat c---".

The man defended his actions at banter: as "mucking around" and "just blocks having a laugh".

When later he was asked about his views, he defended them and said his comments were accurate.

When asked about his view on executing Muslims, the Commission was told "he would not do it personally but did not have much of an issue with it, and "Muslims didn't have a problem with executing us".

The Commission also found they were only in the "mid range" of seriousness because they were not directly targeting a Muslim co-worker.

The company sacked the man after undertaking an eight-week investigation.

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