Black worker accuses UPS of racial discrimination

Clive Henry, a former UPS Courier Service worker is appealing a race discrimination tribunal decision claiming that the judge deliberately dismissed key evidence in his case.

Mr. Henry says he was forced to resign following excessive work demands from UPS Ltd, after working for the company for 11 years, with 100% attendance for seven years. “I had never received any disciplinary action before,” he says.

Mr. Clive Henry says he was the only Black male and the only person ever to be placed on a Performance Improvement Plan

Mr. Henry took UPS to tribunal in 2009 after claiming that he was singled out by a particular manager who put him on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) without looking at his previous work record.

“In October 2008 I was placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) which was never authorised by HR,” Mr. Henry says. “I hit the £3000 department monthly target. This was raised to £4000 the next month. I was shouted at and given a written warning on failing this target. I was also given a smudged warning letter. I was signed off with occupational stress because of these events.”

Mr. Henry says the warning was revoked after his appeal but he was advised in writing that he would be placed back on the PIP.

“I was the only Black male and the only person ever to be placed on a PIP”, he says.

Mr. Henry, a former sales executive, says he emailed HR to escalate to the corporate office, and was “quickly contacted by HR to arrange an emergency meeting at this point. UPS HR and management were trying to cover this up.”
He adds: “In that meeting I was told to ignore being placed back on the Performance Improvement Plan. At this point I raised a grievance. I again asked for the corporate office details but was given a false HR contact.”

The Race Discrimination Tribunal hearing was on 23rd March 2010. Mr. Henry who resigned from UPS on 11th March 2010, says he represented himself as he thought it was an open and closed case. But the judge dismissed his case. In a copy of the judgment decision which Mr. Henry handed The AfroNews, referring to the allegation of the smudging of the letter, the judge writes: “We have to say that in our view Mr. Henry is making a mountain out of a molehill. It is easy to see how the smudging took place, the ink was no doubt not dry when the letter was folded and put into the envelope. It is a huge leap to infer from that, that it was a deliberate act of race discrimination and we reject the allegation wholeheartedly.”

Mr. Henry, who is convinced the judge dismissed the case in a perverse way, is appealing against the ruling. “The biased and perverse judgment has allowed me to become a victim of blatant race discrimination,” he says, adding that “the judge failed to consider key facts and gave biased reasons for UPS’s actions to justify their wrong-doing.”

Mr. Henry also sent the complaint to the European Commission for Human Rights in Brussels, Belgium, and on 15th March 2011, the Commission accepted to consider his complaint in the light of the applicable European Union law. Mr. Henry’s appeal and case is now waiting a date at the Court of Appeal in London.

By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a