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HOTEL BOSS CALLED US 'POLISH SLAVES' Sacked cleaners win 16k pay-out.


THREE immigrants who were publicly humiliated at work won a tribunal case against their former employer yesterday.

Sisters Joanna, 21, and Lydia Wisniewska, 26, and their pal Sylvia Pionkowska, 29, were awarded more than pounds 16,000 for unfair dismissal and racial discrimination.

The cleaners had told the tribunal their boss at a hotel called them "Polish b*****s" and "Polish slaves" in front of customers in the public bar.

Clive Jeffries, who owned the business with his wife Jackie, also forced the women to work long hours with no extra pay.

He fired them last June when they asked for a break after working from 9am to 5am.

Joanna, who now lives with Lydia in Rothesay, on Bute, said: "We realised it wasn't right that we were treated this way and decided were weren't taking it any more."

The sisters moved to Scotland last January after Mr Jeffries offered them pounds 180 a week and free lodging at the seven-room Glendaruel Hotel in Colintraive, Argyll. Sylvia joined them two months later.

But they were made to work more than the 48-hour week they had been led to expect and were not paid on time.

The tribunal heard they worked for 20 hours with just a 20-minute break when the hotel hosted a birthday party last June. They had to return to work four hours later and Lydia, who had recently had an operation, collapsed.

Joanna said Mrs Jeffries ignored her when she said her sister was ill.

Mr Jeffries told them to leave when they said they were too tired to work any further that day.

Chairman of the tribunal Walter Muir agreed they had been exploited and insulted because they were Polish.

He said: "Either wittingly or unwittingly, Mr Jeffries hit the nail on the head when he referred to them as his slaves."

Joanna was awarded pounds 8,499, Lydia pounds 6,487 and Sylvia, who has returned to Poland, pounds 1,465.

No-one from the hotel was at the Glasgow tribunal.


MISERY: Glendaurel Hotel; VICTORY: Sisters Joanna and Lydia yesterday
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 15, 2007
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