Supermarket convicted of racism in dismissal

6 October 2017
Area of action: Employment
Grounds of discrimination: Racism

The store manager of the Intermarché in Klabbeek was guilty of racism when he dismissed a black employee. That was the ruling of the criminal court of Walloon Brabant. The manager dismissed the man because some customers ‘didn’t want to be served by a black person’. Unia was a civil claimant.

The court sentenced the manager to a two months’ suspended prison sentence and a fine of 1200 euro, half of it suspended. The Intermarché firm also received a fine of 3000 euro, half of it suspended.

Unia director Els Keytsman is satisfied ‘that the court, like Unia, ruled that it was in fact the skin colour of the employee that led to the dismissal’. She stresses that offences of this type contribute to racial discrimination in our society. The conviction is therefore a clear signal to employers with racist behaviour. In addition, the conviction gives a voice to those who experience the same thing, but don’t dare to question it.

Finally, Unia stresses the good collaboration with the labour prosecutor that supported the case by opening an investigation.