Thursday, September 23, 1999 Published at 18:00 GMT 19:00 UK
Business: The Company File
Ford apologises to race victim
Sukhjit Parma broke down in tears as he spoke
Car giant Ford has apologised to an Indian worker who suffered years of racial abuse and threats at the hands of colleagues.
He had graffiti scrawled on his pay packet, was threatened with physical assault and was sent to work in an area known as the "punishment cell" - where he had no protective mask in a small, fume-filled spray booth.
He has been off sick since August and forced to take extra security measures on the advice of police.
Ford has sacked one employee and a foreman has been demoted over the abuse.
The Metropolitan Police were called in to investigate some of the complaints but no charges were brought.
The company has admitted liability and is negotiating with his lawyers over a settlement.
His union described it as the worst case of racial abuse it had ever come across.
Ford spokesman John Gardiner said the company has a zero tolerance policy over discrimination or harassment of any kind.
Ford has been in trouble over racism before. There was an outcry when it was revealed it had changed black faces to white in a company photo for an advert.
White lorry drivers also attempted to operate a whites-only recruitment policy.
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