A man says he has been summarily dismissed, without a hearing, for describing a fellow worker as a ‘black fellow’. Conflicting rights are always difficult to resolve – what do you think?
‘Black fellow’ tag costs man his job
I worked in quite a big factory in Victoria for about 3 months. From time to time I worked together with young Nigerian boy on the production line.
Last Thursday he was working with me together with few women. He disappeared and I asked women where did he go using description “black fellow”, since I couldn’t remember his name. Bit later on while working I had conversation with woman next to me regarding how fast different people work and I pointed at Nigerian boy using “black fellow” description how fast is he. She then told me that his name is such and such.
At the first break we were sitting together in canteen, including Nigerian boy and something was mentioned about me not remembering his name and calling him “black fellow”. There was sitting next to us Aboriginal man, he must have overheard our conversation because he got up and started to abuse me, saying that I “racially vilify” him and others Despite me trying to calm situation he kept making threats of physical violence and walked off.
Few minutes later I was called to the office and informed that I am stood down because of complaint of racial vilification. Next day I was sacked without being given chance of defending myself or confronting my accuser. To me it appears to be a breach of basic human rights and political correctness gone mad.
Ed: Discrimination and procedural unfairness are two-way matters: Jake could take his issue to one of many groups in Victoria. The Workplace Rights Advocate website has a good listing, with links