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Muslim caterer accuses the Met of discrimination

12 May 2009 by
Muslim caterer accuses the Met of discrimination

A Muslim catering manager has taken the Metropolitan Police to tribunal claiming he was racially abused and threatened with the sack for refusing to cook pork.

Hasanali Khoja, 60, said that when he called a meeting to discuss his objections to cooking pork for religious reasons, his line manager told him he could lose his job if he failed to follow instructions.

Khoja claimed he felt he was at risk of contact with pork products at his interview for a senior catering manager job with the Metropolitan Police Service, but was assured he would not have to handle food as it was a supervisory role.

He started work at a police training centre in 2005, but after being transferred to a kitchen at Heathrow airport in 2007, the chef was told he had to prepare, cook and serve all food products, including bacon and pork sausages.

Speaking at the tribunal about the meeting with his manager, Khoja said: "The meeting was very threatening because I was reminded several times that if I refused to accept management instructions my job was at risk."

He added that in a follow-up meeting, an HR manager pulled a face, making a gesture towards Khoja as if he was an alien.

"I was very humiliated and stressed out and was unable to continue," Khoja said.

Khoja, who is now employed in another part of the Metropolitan Police catering structure, has alleged racial discrimination, religious discrimination and unlawful deduction of wages.

The Met has declined to comment ahead of the trial's conclusion. The hearing continues.

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By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

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