BHP facing court over racial discrimination

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An Egyptian-born engineer who was sacked from his job last year at BHP Billiton’s Port Hedland operation is suing the company for racial discrimination.

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Raouf Abdel-Messih, who worked for BHP Billiton for 24 years before he was sacked, claimed in Federal Court documents he was victimised by his superiors for more than a year.

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According to the North West Telegraph Abdel-Messih’s court application claimed his superiors, identified only by their last names “Hanrahan” and “Keating,” repeatedly mocked his accent in his presence.

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“At various times and on various occasions Hanrahan mocked and demeaned the applicant by mimicking his accent in his presence and in the presence of other junior members of staff despite being requested not to do so,” the application said.

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Abdel-Messih claims his problems with Hanrahan and Keating date back to 2009, when his performance review was “downgraded” despite the company recently awarding him a $10,000-a-year pay rise.

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After the downgrade Abdel-Messih had to undergo a three-month performance improvement plan and was issued a written warning.

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He wants BHP Billiton to pay him $234,000 or two years pay in compensation for losing his job.

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Abdel-Messih appeared in court for a directions hearing last week.

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