In an initiative to fight against Islamophobia, the car giant’s Mercedes-AMG F1 team fired four IT employees for manifesting hate among colleagues based on the religion.
The dismissed four members of staff were found harassing their Muslim co-worker. Three others were disciplined for breaching diversity rules.
Reports in UK newspapers The Sun and the Mirror said that staff organised a poll during Ramadan in which workers guessed when their Muslim colleague would break his fast.
A source told The Sun: “This was a really horrible case of racist bullying. They had been picking on one Muslim guy for years. It all came to light when they pinned up the poll.”
Mercedes confirm dismissal
Mercedes confirmed on Saturday confirm dismissal of four staff for racist offences.
A statement from Mercedes said that Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix confirmed “four individuals were dismissed from the company on August 2. These dismissals followed an internal investigation that confirmed breaches of our diversity and equality policy.”
“We condemn this behaviour in the strongest terms and acted immediately upon the complaint,” said Mercedes. “We value the diversity of our employees and it is a source of strength for our team.“
“Our working environment is based on appreciation and mutual respect.”
Defending five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who drives for the Mercedes team, has been a vocal critic of racism.
“It is crazy to think that at this time in the world, racism is still such a prominent thing.”
Final appeals against the dismissals were held last week before the team confirmed the decisions taken.