Foster's sacks autistic worker over YouTube jokes

Tuck Thompson, September 08, 2008 12:00AM

AN autistic online comedian has been sacked from his job at the Foster's Yatala brewery for making YouTube videos that offended his employers.

Packager Karl Tilcock, who lives in Windaroo and supports a wife and two autistic children, performs offbeat humour as a hobby under the name AustDingo. One of his fans, Sydney resident Raul Isidro, has slammed Foster's for its "unAustralian" reaction.
AustDingo's YouTube channel (beware coarse language)
"He's got a disability. He has no way to defend himself," Mr Isidro said, while the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union state secretary Gary Bullock said the dismissal was unfair.

"LHMU has instituted proceedings in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission," he said.

Mr Tilcock, who has worked at the brewery for 12 years, admitted he went too far with some of his videos, casting Foster's in a bad light, but said he removed the offensive material when the company sent him a letter.

He denied any of the videos communicated untruths or were produced on his employer's time.

"They never argued the facts on me, just that it didn't make the company look good.

"I've had to fight a lot more (because of the autism) and take time off to care for my family and the company didn't like it," he said. "I did my job."

A Foster's spokeswoman said Mr Tilcock was warned repeatedly about making videos in violation of company policy, and the backdrop of some videos showed he was at work when he produced them.

"We re-explained the rules to him after the initial warning," she said. "He was making disparaging remarks and defaming the company."

Mr Tilcock admitted making a video ridiculing a manager.

"I'm struggling. It's hard at the moment," he said. "I think it's gone past the point of getting my job back."