WODONGA’S RSL is in crisis with its top brass facing a no-confidence motion and caterer Lee Botting threatening legal action after being dumped by the club.
The sub-branch’s president Kevyn Williams has been handed a petition from members calling for a no-confidence motion in the committee of management to be debated at an extraordinary general meeting.
As the document has been signed by five per cent of members, an extraordinary meeting is required within 49 days of the petition’s presentation on December 29 by member Ian Deegan.
Days later on January 2, the RSL club’s caterer Mr Botting was summoned to a meeting with Mr Williams and other committee members.
He was handed a letter penned by Mr Williams whose first sentence declared: “You are hereby advised that, effective immediately, your contract to utilise the kitchen is terminated.”
Two particular breaches were cited, one being unauthorised use of a club eftpos machine and the other was “overcharging” a client $200 in relation to the deposit for a function.
Mr Botting said he had been happy not to use the eftpos after a directive last month and had returned the $200 on December 21.
“It’s not justified, they’re just grabbing at straws, those breaches they put in are absolutely ridiculous,” he said.
Mr Botting had been club caterer since 2015 and his contract was to run to November with a two-year option on top.
He believes he was axed because he supported the action against the administration.
“It was a personal vendetta,” Mr Botting said.
Mr Williams said that claim was libelous.
“He’s just an angry man because he’s no longer working here,” Mr Williams said.
The president said in addition to the matters raised in his letter there were concerns about Workcover coverage for Mr Botting’s staff.
Mr Botting dismissed that claim, showing The Border Mail a Workcover insurance certificate of currency valid until June 30.
He plans to meet a lawyer next week to discuss action against the sub-branch for breach of contract.
Mr Williams said: “I’d like him to do that, if he lodged any legal action I’m well and truly prepared.”
Mr Deegan said the petition was prompted by concerns about the “whole culture” of the committee of management which has created a “toxic” atmosphere.
“It’s time we got the RSL back for the people and that’s what we want, a happy harmonious club which it was and it can be,” Mr Deegan said.
He said he would not be seeking a position on a new committee if the motion of no-confidence succeeded, dismissing the suggestion he was plotting for power.
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