Diasporian News of Thu, 5 Feb 20041

Ghanaian sacked after just one day at store

UK -- BLACK storeworker Kwazi Lawrence Cubagee has complained to the Council for Racial Equality after he was sacked from the new Lidl store in Devizes after just one day.

The 22-year-old, originally from Ghana, was the only black member of staff at the store in London Road and had been training as a member of staff for three weeks before the store opened last Thursday.

His sponsor, the Rev Colin Coward of Marston, said: "There was no indication that Lawrence's work was in any way sub-standard."

Mr Cubagee arrived in Britain in January, sponsored by Mr Coward and his partner, who is Ghanaian by birth. He quickly got taken on by Lidl.

He was scheduled to work until 8pm on Thursday, but was asked to stay on until 9.30pm to clear up.

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Mr Cubagee said: "The store was closed. There were no members of the public in, so I went into the storeroom and phoned Colin on my mobile to let him know not to pick me up until 9.30pm. The supervisor warned me not to use my phone in the store, but said nothing about me being fired. You don't fire someone for something like that, you give them a warning.

"But at 9.30pm he came up to me and told me I was fired. When I asked why, he said it was because I was working too slowly."

Mr Coward said: "I spoke to a senior manager at Lidl's regional office at Weston-super-Mare and he was exceedingly offhand with me.

"After repeating the explanation that Lawrence was working too slowly, he said `I have nothing more to tell you'. I said `are you terminating this conversation?' He said yes and put the phone down.''

Lidl has refused to comment.

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