02/27/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Filipino Worker Loses Job For Not Using Toilet "The Australian Way"

Originally published on, the citizen journalism platform that covers world news from the ground.

QUEENSLAND - A Filipino contract worker lost his job Friday January 23 for not using the toilet "the Australian way".

Amador Bernabe, 43, works as a machine operator for Townsville Engineering Industries (TEI). Bernabe claims that on Thursday, his foreman followed him into the bathroom questioning his toilet hygiene after seeing him (Bernabe) carry a bottled water inside the toilet.

Despite Bernabe's protests, he claims the foreman followed him into the toilet saying "you can't bring water in there".

"I said it's my personal hygiene. I didn't break any law, I didn't break any rules of the company, why can't I do this, and he said he would report me to the manager.", Bernabe said.

Bernabe was summoned to the manager's office the next day where he was admonished to use the toilet the "Australian way" or he would be immediately terminated. Bernabe, seeing nothing wrong with his toilet habits, replied "sir, then you better terminate me".

The incident, happening on Australia Day, drew criticisms from union bosses and politicians across Australia.

Greens spokeswoman Jenny Stirling praised Mr. Bernabe for standing up for his rights.

"I commend the man for standing up for himself and I encourage the employer to have further talks with the union and the employee and I am sure commonsense will prevail," she said.

"I would like to see how Australians feel when they go to Europe where in places they don't have toilet paper."

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