New mother who rejected 12-hour shifts was `sacked'
Thursday 09 December 1999
Archer Daniels Midland introduced longer shifts while Karen Barker, a 30-year-old laboratory technician, was on maternity leave, according to her union, Manufacturing Science Finance.
Ms Barker, who worked for the company for 14 years, was allegedly sacked without notice for failing to turn up for a 6am shift on her first day back at the laboratory in Erith, Kent.
Roger Lyons, general secretary of the union, said that Ms Barker, the only woman in her department, had requested alternative working arrangements so that she could look after her four-month-old child, but had been refused. Mr Lyons said the union would be taking Ms Barker's case to an employment tribunal alleging unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.
"It is beyond belief that a massive multinational like ADM cannot accommodate the needs of a working mother. Sacking Karen just before Christmas suggests it is not a very family-friendly company," he said.
The union is calling on the Government to introduce legislation giving parents the rightto new working arrangements after having children.
Mr Lyons said that Ms Barker's case had strong similarities to that of Annette Cowley, for whom the union won compensation for sex discrimination against South African Airways earlier this year.
Peter Bates, a director of ADM, which processes oilseed and soya, would not comment on the case. His company's profits exceed $1bn (pounds 600m) a year and it has 205 plants around the world, including four in Britain.
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is shot dead
Leonard Nimoy dead: Star Trek actor dies after suffering lung disease
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin, says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...