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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
Ex-council worker wins race case
Edinburgh City Chambers
Edinburgh City Council had offered Mr Naicker a job
A former council worker has won a case against two local authorities accused of racial discrimination.

Seg Naicker, who is of black South African origin, had been a housing officer with Stirling Council.

The council compensated Mr Naicker three years ago after he had suffered racial harassment and discrimination.

Stirling and Edinburgh councils have now awarded him 30,000 after a job at Edinburgh Council was withdrawn after a warning from an official at Stirling.

He was turned down for the job in Edinburgh following a telephone conversation between officials of the two councils.

To have a job snatched away from you because someone has unfairly bad-mouthed you is a bitter blow
Seg Naicker

Stirling Council was said to have warned officials at Edinburgh that Mr Naicker was a "difficult person" who complained when he experienced racial harassment.

Stirling Council was found to be two thirds liable and Edinburgh one third.

Mr Naicker, who now works with a housing association in the Borders, said: "To have a job snatched away from you, not because of your own shortcomings but because someone else has unfairly bad-mouthed you is a bitter blow.

"To have that happen because you stood up for your right not to be harassed because of your race is worse.

"It is particularly damning as local authorities like to claim credit as leaders in equalities and anti-discrimination practices."

'Character assassination'

Peter Hunter, Unison's Scottish legal officer, said it was "a clear-cut case of victimisation".

"Mr Naicker had agreed a settlement with Stirling Council which included a fair reference for potential employers," he said.

"Despite this, a council official took it on herself to deliver such a damning character assassination that Edinburgh Council officials changed their assessment of his employment prospects and withdrew their offer of a job.

"This was clearly done because he took Stirling to a tribunal when they treated his complaints of racial harassment inadequately."

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh City Council said: "We do not comment on individual personnel matters.

"We do however take accusations of discrimination very seriously and employ very stringent equalities policies."

A Stirling Council spokeswoman added: "This was an isolated incident and does not reflect the position of Stirling Council on harassment and discrimination."

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