Globe, Migrants, Multiculture, United Kingdom

Immigrant stories: racism and work harassment

Fausto*, an immigrant who arrived in the UK years ago, is holding various jobs to try to get ahead for his family. However, in one of these he tells us that he is suffering from ‘work harassment’.


The situations that Fausto encounters in his 3 jobs are each very different to the others.  In two of these, despite the fact that he himself recognises that he hardly speaks English, he says that he feels very comfortable. “They treat me like their child”, he states.

In the third, however, which takes place in a public institution, the circumstances are completely different, and he considers that he is suffering situations of “racism, egotism and work harassment”. But Fausto does not attribute this situation to the institution, as he was working there before without any problems.

His difficulties began when a colleague (the one who today makes his life impossible) who is his superior joined the same institution.

“Until then I was working from Monday to Friday and all was going fine. But one day I met him at work and since then he began to do everything possible to annoy me” says Fausto.

Fausto tells us that he is treated like a slave as there are occasions when they send him to cover posts of other workers who are doing nothing. Faced with this he feels defenceless, as he is threatened with disciplinary action if he complains to his superior.

The rest of the workers also face a difficult situation, as Fausto comments that the institution is understaffed and often tries to take advantage of them by increasing their hours.

However, Fausto believes that the contempt showed to him by his boss multiplied when Fausto refused to give him his papers, so that a family member of his boss could begin to work.

At first, either through lack of initiative or by hoping that everything would return to normal, Fausto didn’t consider it prudent to take action. But in view of the situation continuing as before, and owing to the insistence of his family, he was prompted to contact the Latin Workers’ Association (LAWAS).

Since then LAWAS, one of whose principles is the creation of spaces to give the community a strong voice for defending its rights and its dignity and improving the quality of life of its workers, has supported Fausto and advised him to take action.

“They supported me, they gave me a hand, they didn’t charge me anything and they defended me very well. Without them I would no longer have my job”, pronounces Fausto.

*Name changed for security reasons. Memoirs)

(Translated by Justin Hodgson – Email: Photos; Pixabay

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