Racially-abused Indian gets £64,000

Updated on Feb 14, 2008 03:51 AM IST
Car giant Honda has been ordered to pay 64,000 pounds to Kamlesh Shah (30) who was forced to quit after suffering racial abuse at work, reports Vijay Dutt.
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Hindustan Times | ByVijay Dutt, London

An Indian who brought race charges against his former employer — car giant Honda — has been awarded £64,000 as damages by a Bristol tribunal.

Kamlesh Shah, 30, quit his job at Honda UK’s plant in Swindon last year after a supervisor called him a “f***ing Indian”.
The tribunal awarded Shah, who shifted to Britain from Surat in 2004, £15,000 for injury to his feelings, including £10,000 for psychiatric damage. The rest was awarded for loss of earnings since he resigned, and more than two years future loss of earnings plus interest.

Julie Cameron of Honda confirmed that the compensation had been settled through the tribunal. Shah, who worked at the factory for nearly two years, was allegedly moved randomly between production line jobs without training, bullied and even refused toilet breaks by his supervisor. He had said that the poor treatment led to a deterioration in his physical and mental health after which he quit.

The hearing was held in June 2007 and the ruling was given in November. But the case has surfaced now, after Shah talked to media about it.

“This was never about the money, it was about standing up to a company that treated me like a third-class citizen because of my race. I was persecuted for speaking out and blowing the whistle,” Shah told reporters.

A Honda spokeswoman said: “We accepted the findings of the employment tribunal, some nine months ago, and consider this case to be a very unfortunate ‘one-off’ and deeply regret the offence to Mr Shah caused by an individual associate.”

But cases of racist abuses at work across Britain are not uncommon. There have been cases like that of Sukhjit Parmar, who suffered humiliation at Ford’s Dagenham plant in 1999. And then, of course, there’s the case of Shilpa Shetty, who faced taunts last year from her housemates in TV reality show Celebrity Big Brother.

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