The B-C Human Rights Tribunal has ordered an employer to pay some African workers more than 600-thousand dollars in damages because of the discrimination they faced while tree planting.
The workers were employed by Khaira Enterprises Limited and were based in a camp in Golden in 2010.
Tribunal member Norman Trerise says the owners taunted and harassed the 55 workers with racial slurs and had a blatant disregard for employment standards.
The tribunal has ordered the company to pay each worker 10-thousand dollars for injury to their dignity and self-respect, plus 1-thousand dollars for every 30-day period each worked between March 17th and June 17th, 2010.
The man accused of treating the workers poorly says he can’t comment on today’s ruling because he hasn’t seen it yet.
When reached by phone, Khalid Bajwa says he’s out of town and won’t have time to read the decision until next week.
He has declined a request for an interview, but when details of abuse surfaced in the summer of 2010, he quickly denied any wrongdoing.
“They are very good conditions. They don’t have any bad conditions. It’s like camping. The people are sleeping in a camp and the other tourists making camp up there.”
At the time, Bajwa insisted the 55 workers were well-fed, but the camp near Golden was shut down by the provincial government after the tree planters complained they went two days without food.