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.

Thank You
Jake.

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

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5 Comments

  1. The saga goes on…
    It became obvious that company after talk to Equal Opportunity Commission official dropped accusations of racial vilification and jumped on wagon of discrimination. After she has spoken to me and tried to say that describing somebody by their special, physical or other attributes can be qualified as discrimination I did get copy of Equal Opportunity Act 2010, which is current law in Victoria. I studied definitions of discrimination and it would require great stretch of imagination to apply it to my case. I have great doubt that any court or any jury would stretch their imagination that far. The only think they could pin on me is, if use of such a phrase was banned in Australian legislation. That stems from the fact that Australians haven’t got freedom of speech guaranteed in Constitution or any Legislation, the only country in developed world.
    I still think that all this has to be clarified, in courts or otherwise, because we cannot live in constant fear and intimidation, not knowing what is discrimination and what not.
    I hope you all see my point. Jake


    Editor: This matter is now closed.

    Jacek
  2. Well, I got official word on that subject from Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
    Lady informed me that use of description “black fellow” in public, if it is heard by person who doesn’t like it and doesn’t like you, can lead to charges of discrimination and land you in big troubles. She was quite sure it cannot be qualified as “racial vilification”. She couldn’t tell me if the same applies to “white fellow”, “old fellow”, “grey fellow”, “redheaded fellow” etc…
    Maybe I move to Africa and be able to sue everybody who calls me “white fellow”.
    I feel like crying…

    Jacek
  3. I’m the man concerned. Although I’m not a union member I received phone call from unions Helpdesk. He obviously didn’t bother to try to understand what happened and was trying to tell me that company had right to sack me because I committed act of discrimination. He couldn’t explain what that act was and I hanged up. It appears that it came to us to live in “police state”, and anybody can be your “judge, jury and executioner”.

    Jacek
  4. In a democracy, both parties should be given the right to explain. In the above letter, Jake wasn’t even talking to or about the person who then complained. All parties should be given a chance to explain.
    what about a few “white’ rights?

    Lindsay crawford
  5. When is racism not racism? When it’s directed against White people.

    The tactics of Multiculturalists include many double standards. Not that they would care, as long as it benefits them.

    Multiculturalists have established one standard for White people, and another for non-White people – a tactic that is racist and discriminatory.

    A situation that many people have complained about over the years is that by Multiculturalist standards it is alright (in the media, schools, etc.) for people to proclaim “I’m Aboriginal and proud of it”, “I’m Asian and proud of it”, or “I’m Black and proud of it”, whereas to say “I’m White and proud of it” will immediately bring condemnation from the media and politicians.

    “Black pride” and “Black Power” have often been portrayed as fine, upstanding, and noble concepts in the media, whereas “White pride” and “White Power” have been condemned as racist concepts.

    There have existed in the past, and still in the present, various government benefits that are only available to Aborigines, such as extra funding for students, cheap housing loans, and employment preferences.

    My own recent personal experience at a training organisation resulted In 5 Indigenous students each receiving training to the value of $8000 dollars, yes $64000 (and that was just for the week I was there) not Including the free Subway and soft drinks that was provided to them, this is factual NOT a stretch of the imagination. Unfortunately I was not so lucky and was out of pocket $8000 nor am I well off and have been saving for many years to afford this training. Anyway getting back on track, I don’t have an issue with the needy receiving a helping hand although I do struggle to process the fact that our basic rights disappear when workers are dismissed for saying black in a sentence while our children are being robbed of original nursery rhymes (bah bah rainbow sheep, are you kidding?)

    If you think I’m racist, think again, I went through school befriending plenty of Indigenous folk and still hold many with high regard.

    Common Australia, what ever happened to ‘a fair go’?…… Politics gone mad yet again!!

    Dennis

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