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A BLACK postal worker has described how he was reduced to tears by the racist taunts of colleagues.

Michael Eluyemi, 27, claims his coworkers at a Liverpool sorting depot nicknamed him Chumbawumber and called him ``nig-nog'' and ``nigger''.

He was sacked by the Royal Mail after stabbing one of them in the face with a pen, even though a court found him not guilty of malicious wounding and grevious bodily harm after he said he had acted in self defence.

Now Mr Eluyemi of Onslow Road, Kensington, is claiming race discrimination and unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal.

Mr Eluyemi, who is West African, worked for four years as a sorter at the Royal Mail's Brunswick Dock office. He claims that fellow workers Mosley Abdul Fattah, James and Sarah Bowles, Franny MacPoland and Barry Gibbons racially abused him, that his line manager Martin Goodrum turned a blind eye and that union rep John Lynch ignored his complaints.

Mr Eluyemi said: ``I was the only black person in my department and the only one the abuse was directed against. ``The atmosphere was very unpleasant and I felt the management was not taking the matter seriously. ``The situation made me very ill and I would go home crying.''

Colleagues Anthony Ali, Paul Lynch and Simon Ellis gave evidence backing up his claims.

In March 2000 he claims he acted in self-defence when he stabbed Mr Fattah in a fight on Brunswick Dock.

Mr Eluyemi said Mr Fattah, who is Arabic and known as Mo, waited for him in the dark as he walked home from his shift and attacked him. At Liverpool crown court Mr Eluyemi was found not guilty of malicious wounding and GBH but he was sacked for gross misconduct.

The fight was given as a reason for his dismissal.

Allen Robinson, a manager at Brunswick depot, investigated the incidents leading up to the fight.

He said: ``All the people I spoke to backed up Mo's version of events.

``There was no evidence to back up Mr Eluyemi's version of events.'' (Proceeding)


OFFENDED: Michael Eluyemi said he was racially abused by coworkers at the Royal Mail
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 6, 2003
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