Three to investigate racism claims

Three to investigate racism claims
A Black Lives Matter protest in Cork last month.

Communications firm Three has promised a "full internal investigation" after an employee alleged he was subjected to "incessant racism" from colleagues.'

The employee, in his early 20s, worked in the mobile phone store until recently. 

He says he was let go after he returned late from lunch, where he attended a Black Lives Matter protest.

The employee claims that while working there, he was repeatedly racially abused by management and customers.

“Whilst working for Three Ireland, I was the victim of incessant racism and bullying not only from customers but from senior staff. These incidents happened so frequently, on an almost daily basis, I took time stamps and quotes,” he said.

According to the young man who was born in Africa, but has lived here for most of his life, these weren’t “covert or hidden acts of racism". Instead, he says they occurred in the presence of senior staff.

He says that some examples of the racism he faced, in which he took notes, include a coworker saying “n***** did you come here in a delivery box” and “**** loves Christmas because he gets to be on the front of a Trocaire box”.

“This is just a tiny amount of the things that were said to me. When I tried to bring up the topic of racism in the workplace with my manager it was quickly dismissed and I was told we would speak about it later.” 

He says he was also the victim of a verbal attack from a member of the public who shouted at him "fuck off you black n*****" and "I don’t care about all that black lives matter shit".

“All this was happening as my colleagues and management stood and watched as I, myself, had to escort these customers out of the building as they hurled disgusting racist insults at me. My manager was informed of the incident and do you think he asked me how I was or what happened? No.”

The man says he did not report the incident at the time, as he feared losing his job.

"I took a record of it all because I didn’t want to report when I was still on probation because they could easily let me go. I also didn’t report at the time because it’s not like these were covert incidents, they happened incessantly in the presence of colleagues. Not once did anyone intervene which only made me feel like I would be put in a vulnerable position if I did come forward.” He says that following the Black Lives Matter protests, he informed management that he was experiencing racism in work.

“They mentioned the no-discrimination policy and said we would speak on it later which never happened." 

In response to the allegations, a spokesperson for Three Ireland said: “At Three, we oppose racism in all its forms. Three is a company that is open and inclusive for everyone and we have policies in place to ensure equality for all minority groups.

“Three does not tolerate racism and has launched a full internal investigation into these reports towards an employee. Three is engaging directly with the employee and will take all necessary steps to ensure issues like this do not occur in the future.”

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