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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2006, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Ferry transsexual suffered jibes
Drusilla Marland
Staff admitted they had said inappropriate things to Ms Marland
A transsexual crew member suffered sexual discrimination on board a cross-channel ferry, a tribunal heard.

Drusilla Marland, 48, from Bristol, claims co-workers in the engine room of the P&O ferry Pride of Bilbao made jibes about her sex change.

Ms Marland claims unfair constructive dismissal against P&O Ferries.

The firm admits sexual discrimination but told the tribunal in Southampton Ms Marland was offered other work but she was only interested in compensation.

The standard of behaviour of Ms Marland's workers in the engine room was not what was expected
Sandra Ray
P&O Ferries

Ms Marland claims fellow workers on the Pride of Bilbao ridiculed her when she worked there between 2002 to 2005.

She said they often referred to her as "he" and would say things such as "We are all men here".

P&O Ferries' human resources assistant Sandra Ray told the Southampton employment tribunal that co-workers did not know how to handle the fact that she was about to undergo gender reassignment.

Ms Ray told the hearing she investigated Ms Marland's complaints and many work colleagues admitted that they had said inappropriate things to her.

She told the hearing: "The standard of behaviour of Ms Marland's workers in the engine room was not what was expected. Most was out of ignorance and not malice."

Ms Ray said she believed Ms Marland could return to work if proper training about how to react to someone who was transsexual took place on the ship but in a meeting with her, Ms Ray said it had become clear that she wanted compensation and did not want to return to work for P&O Ferries.

The case continues.

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