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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Asian postman gets £100,000 payout for exposing racism


A postman has received a £100,000 payout after blowing the whistle on “endemic racism” at his workplace, which resulted in him and other Asian colleagues being branded as “cockroaches” and “vermin”.

Abdul Musa, who was supported in his claim by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, worked at the Royal Mail‘s Canterbury Street sorting office in Blackburn, Lancashire, between 2006 and 2007, but was sacked in July 2007.
The move followed his complaints about the behaviour of more than a dozen colleagues. They subsequently accused him of using offensive terms to describe fellow Asian postal workers as well as sexual misconduct and he was dismissed as a result.
The 12 workers were later also disciplined, but another staff member, Christopher Eccles, lost his job due to alleged on-going abuse. This situation prompted strike action at the delivery office and also led to the appearance of graffiti saying ‘Kill the P***s’ in a staff toilet, an employment tribunal heard.
The findings of the five-day tribunal, which was held in Manchester in January this year, have only just been made public. The judge, Mrs C Porter, ruled that Musa had been racially victimised by his colleagues and that he had been unfairly dismissed.
She also blasted Royal Mail’s probe into the slurs as nothing short of “shambolic”, adding it was “quite startling” that the origin of the graffiti had never been investigated.
According to the Daily Mail, an internal postal service inquiry, conducted by independent investigator, Neil Donovan, decided that Musa, who is of Indian origin, was racially, verbally and physically harassed by more than a dozen co-workers.
Concerns were also raised by the judge about the actions of representatives of the Communications Workers Union who, the judge said, appeared to be involved in “priming” and “intimidating” witnesses during a series of internal investigations.
Royal Mail reportedly did not make the findings of a later probe into wider issues identified at the Blackburn office available to the tribunal, however.
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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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