HR Strange But True!
July 06, 2006

A 10-year feud that revolved around different Australian Rules Football team allegiances and different ethnicities ended with a forklift-bumping showdown, a fistfight, and a firing.

Adelaide Crows fan and Greek-born Simeon Christopoulos, 63, hit Adelaide Port Power fan and Italian-born Frank Cappelluti, 58, after the two bumped forklifts at a factory in Kilburn, Australia, according to the Advertiser newspaper.

Cappelluti suffered a cut lip and Christopoulos, his boss who had worked with the company for 34 years, was fired.

Christopoulos's employer, Korvest, does not tolerate violence in any form, according to the company's managing director, Ric Gros.

"These things are very difficult but we have to make sure that we continue to provide a safe working environment for everyone," Gros told the Advertiser.

Christopoulos appealed his termination, but the firing was upheld last month by the SA Industrial Relations Commission.

In his testimony, Christopoulos said he was driving his forklift in March 1995 at the factory when Cappelluti backed his forklift into him and laughed. After the initial confrontation, Christopoulos "abused" Cappelluti, who was sweeping the floor, calling him "dumb."

Cappelluti allegedly said Christopoulos was "carrying on like a child" and the "silly old bugger" should "grow up" over the forklift incident, the Advertiser reported. Christopoulos then threw a punch, which Cappelluti ducked, but a second punch landed, splitting Cappelluti's lip.

Source: The Advertiser

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