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British Engineer Accuses Huawei of Racial Discrimination, Files Lawsuit

Telecom equipment maker Huawei has been accused of racial discrimination by a British software engineer who has filed a lawsuit against the company.

The lawsuit was filed after the company axed British workers only to replace them with Chinese works, Daily Mail (opens in new tab) reports.

Judeson Peter, 39, who filed the lawsuit against the company, said that he was fired from Basingstoke, Hampshire office because of his age and due to the fact that he was British. The employment tribunal heard that the company was employing expat Chinese employees while making British and non-British residents redundant.

"A large number of Chinese employees were joining the workforce in 2009 at the same time that I was being made redundant. I believe I could have done these roles. Far more non-Chinese employees have been selected for redundancy than Chinese employees," Peter, who worked as a customer support engineer specialising in fibre optics, told the tribunal.

"With regard to engineers, it should be noted that not a single Chinese engineer has been made redundant, whereas 30 non-Chinese have been," he added.

Huawei on the other hand has claimed that the job cuts were fair and that Chinese expat employees were subjected to a different kind of evaluation process.

Ed : Huawei issued a statement related to the case above, a statement we're publishing verbatim below.

"Huawei denies all allegations made by Judeson Peter within his employment tribunal, which is based upon factually incorrect information. It is true that in 2009 Huawei was forced to downsize, like many other large multinational companies, due to the economic turndown, particularly in the telecom industry. At this stage Huawei unfortunately had to make a series of redundancies, resulting in 25% of British workers and 32% of Chinese employees losing their jobs. Huawei's Chinese expat employees are subject to a separate contract and dealt with through a different process. The fact that a higher percentage of Chinese workers than British were made redundant shows that Huawei in no way prioritised Chinese employees. Mr Peter was employed as an optical customer support engineer at the time of restructuring, at which point five roles needed to be reduced by one. Huawei began a fair review, strictly following selection criteria feedback. Mr Peter scored the lowest number of points, so unfortunately he had to be made redundant. Huawei believes that the process followed was fair and in line with the approach other companies operating in the UK would take to restructuring. Mr Peter claimed that 342 Chinese workers moved to Huawei in Britain over three years, this figure is entirely incorrect. In 2009 Huawei employed 342 staff in the UK, including local and foreign nationals, and around 70% of them were recruited locally at that time. All Chinese staff based in Britain pass strict English tests to ensure smooth communication locally. Today the firm employs 650 people in the UK, nearly double 2009 figures, of which 75% of staff are recruited locally. Huawei is committed to continuing to grow its UK workforce, pledging to employ at least 1,000 people in the UK by 2014, and also creating many additional sub-contractor roles."

Ravi Mandalia

Ravi Mandalla was ITProPortal's Sub Editor (and a contributing writer) for two years from 2011. Based in Ahmedabad, India, Ravi is now the owner and founder of Parity Media Pvt. Ltd., a news and media company, which specializes in online publishing, technology news and analysis, reviews, web site traffic growth, web site UI. Ravi lists his specialist subjects as: Enterprise, IT, Technology, Gadgets, Business, High Net Worth Individuals, Online Publishing, Advertising, Marketing, Social Media, News, Reviews, Audio, Video, and Multi-Media. He has also previously worked as Dy. Manager - IT Security at (n)Code Solutions.