Racism: Supermarket fires employee who wouldn’t help customer because he “didn’t like blacks”

The Hipermercado Extra in Campo Grande (MS)
The Hipermercado Extra in Campo Grande (MS)

Note from BW of Brazil: Nothing particularly shocking here. Supermarkets seem to be a common place for racially disrespectful comments, treatment, etc. The only thing that would this article could have provided a little more info about the background of the employee that made the comment. Was he a foreigner working in Brazil? Was he a Brazilian who doesn’t like anything about Brazil? What did the person look like? I guess we’ll never know. Oh well; another day, another case of racism. 

Extra supermarket in Campo Grande (MS) fires employee accused of racism

by the Campo Grande Notícias newsroom

Campo Grande, capital city of Mato Grosso do Sul
Campo Grande, capital city of Mato Grosso do Sul

The manager of the Extra Supercenter located on Rua Maracaju (street), in the downtown region of Campo Grande, the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul, decided on Tuesday (January 14) to dismiss the employee J. W. for just cause for having said offensive and racist words to a customer.

It happened on Monday (1/13), in the chain store on Rua Maracuja and involved a client, identified by the initials G. R. L., 51 years old, that had gone to the store to shop.

According to the client and witnesses, G. R. L., later identified as Germano Rodrigues Lima, had asked the clerk about a particular product that was missing on an end cap of the establishment and received an answer that the product was out of stock and that even if it was available, he would not get it.

The client, who is black, found the employee negligent and ironic, and asked another employee who went to get the manager.

Upon arriving, the manager witnessed the discussion between customer and employee with the latter saying: “It’s because of this that I don’t like Brazilians, nor blacks.”

Disgusted with the fact, G. R. L. decided to leave the establishment while the manager talked to the employee calling his attention. The manager confirmed that the employee repeated the phrase in front of other workers. “It’s absurd, various people were there shopping, anyone would have been offended,” he emphasized. The client went to a Civil Police Station where he recorded a Boletim de Ocorrência (BO or police report) for libel and racism. In the BO the product that the customer was looking for, an automotive oil, was described.

Germano Rodrigues Lima was offended by an Extra employee
Germano Rodrigues Lima was offended by an Extra employee

The client also filed a complaint with the Consumer Precinct (Decon), but according to Deputy Gomides Ferreira dos Santos, as the complaint is related to the crime of slander, and not consumption, it should be treated in the criminal sphere.

“Although the situation had occurred in the supercenter the complaint will not be treated as the investigation of a crime against the consumer. The injury in question is a personal opinion of the employee and the scenery surpasses that of a consumer relationship. It has nothing to do with the acquisition of a product or the fact that it was within the establishment,” said the deputy of Decon.

Note, directors of Extra Supermarket regretted the incident and reaffirmed the commitment of the company to treat all customers in a respectful manner.

Here, in full, the note of clarification released by the Extra Office of Communications about the incident:

“The Extra [Supercenter] bases its actions on respect for the customer and vehemently repudiates any discriminatory act. The network promotes training of its collaborators [employees] to comply with the company’s Code of Ethics, and the fact pointed out does not match the operational standard required by the company. The network regrets the incident and stated that the fact is isolated and appropriate action in relation to the collaborator (employee) has already been taken. –

Extra Hipermercados – Grupo Pão de Açúcar”

Source: Campo Grande Notícias, G1

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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