Rights commission recommends its heaviest fine in Montreal racism case

Posted by admin on Sep 23rd, 2009

The Montreal, Gazette September 23, 2009

Described as the heaviest fine it has ever recommended in a racism case, the Quebec Human Rights Commission has called on a Montreal manufacturer to pay $164,000 to 15 Chinese workers. The alleged incidents that led to their complaint happened July 11, 2006 when 30 Chinese immigrant workers were summoned to a meeting by their employer, Calego International Inc. of St. Laurent borough.

They alleged that company president Stephen Rapps lectured them on being responsible for unsanitary working conditions at their workplace.

They also alleged that Rapps told them the were no longer in China, that they must wash themselves daily, and that “You Chinese eat like pigs.” They also complained that two workers were assaulted.

This version of the meeting and what was said is challenged by Rapps, his lawyer, Julius Grey, said Wednesday.

“There was never any racist comment,” Grey said, adding that the amount levied was “crazy.”

Rapps did call workers to a meeting, Grey noted, but all he said was that “things were dirty, that people were acting like pigs.”

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