‘The fight continues’: Lattouf versus ABC hearing ends in stalemate

Antoinette Lattouf’s unlawful termination case against the ABC will continue after the sacked journalist said a resolution could not be reached by her and the organisation’s lawyers in a mediation hearing.

“The case didn’t resolve today, but the fight continues, and I’m willing and prepared to fight for as long as it takes,” she told reporters outside the Fair Work Commission chambers in Sydney on Thursday afternoon.

Antoinette Lattouf speaks to the media  on Thursday about her wrongful dismissal case against the ABC.
Antoinette Lattouf speaks to the media on Thursday about her wrongful dismissal case against the ABC.Credit: Dion Georgopoulos

Lattouf stressed the case’s importance was about free speech, racism, the role of journalists, and a fair, independent and robust ABC.

“I will always advocate and fight for an ABC that can operate and inform the masses, inform and entertain the masses without fear or favour,” she said.

Lattouf was sacked by the ABC three days into a five-day short-term contract in December, filling in for ABC Radio Sydney Mornings host Sarah Macdonald.

After she filed an unlawful termination application with Fair Work in December, last week she extended her claim to include racial discrimination, alongside the initial claim of expression of political opinion relating to a social media post.

Antoinette Lattouf is fighting the public broadcaster in a Fair Work case
Antoinette Lattouf is fighting the public broadcaster in a Fair Work caseCredit: SMH

The broadcaster is arguing Lattouf was asked not to return after breaching a directive from management not to make any social media posts about “controversial topics”.

The ABC says she breached this directive by reposting a Human Rights Watch report two days into her week on air. Her race or political opinion did not influence the decision, it says.

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Anderson issued a statement to all ABC employees on Wednesday afternoon, reaffirming the “paramount importance” of the public broadcaster’s independence, and refuting any allegations it could be influenced by lobbying efforts.

“The ABC rejects any claim that it has been influenced by any external pressure, whether it be an advocacy or lobby group, a political party, or commercial entity,” Anderson’s statement said.

However, the broadcaster’s Union House Committee swiftly rejected the statement, saying it did not address the concerns raised, nor the request for an urgent meeting.

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Source: Thanks smh.com