A POLISH former produce production worker who lives in Redditch has accused a Worcestershire farm firm of race discrimination after alleging she was harassed and sworn and shouted at because of her nationality.
Miss Katarzyna Bujna of Mount Pleasant, is the second Polish worker to make accusations against Sandfields Farms Ltd of Pershore and Stratford-Upon-Avon at Birmingham Employment Tribunal within months.
The firm is said to employ up to 1,000 produce pickers of all nationalities during seasonal work.
Miss Bujna, who worked on the pre-packing production line, alleged at the tribunal that she was sworn and shouted at by employees because she was Polish.
She also alleged she was harassed, was called an abusive name and accused the firm of failing to interview all staff who had witnessed the alleged incidents.
The firm said that all those involved had eventually been interviewed.
Miss Bujna claimed the situation made her ill with work related stress and depression, causing her to go on sick leave.
The firm denied the allegations and said it had a good reputation with scores of employees of all nationalities and had not been aware of some of Miss Bujna’s complaints.
They said they made every effort to encourage Miss Bujna to return to work from sick leave.
The tribunal was told about one alleged conflict over the handling of a box on the production line.
Miss Butna said this had led to her being called an offensive name.
Tribunal judge James Algazy complained on several occasions that Miss Butna had been vague about the time and dates alleged incidents took place.
He also accused Miss Butna of failing to raise a reference to CCTV on the shop floor, earlier in her evidence.
Mr Algazy adjourned the hearing to a later date and told Miss Butna to contact her GP and obtain medical reports about her depression and stress in time for the next hearing.
Sandfields won a legal claim at the tribunal for unfair dismissal by Miss Bujna’s former Polish produce picker colleague Adam Szylko last November after the firm complained it had been unfairly accused of favouring other nationalities over Polish workers.