Ho Seung Yoo, director of Dongbu Daewoo ElectronicsCredit: INS News Agency A financial manager who lost her job after she refused to bow to her Korean boss is set to win thousands of pounds after an employment tribunal ruled that she had suffered racial discrimination and victimisation.Misook McDonald said her “furious” boss had confronted her over her failure to bow at this at the start and end of each working day before she was suddenly demoted without notice and moved to the Human Resources department.Judges were told that when Mrs McDonald challenged Dongbu Daewoo Electronics director Ho Seung Yoo over being treated like a slave he retorted: “Isn’t that what female workers should do?” The story of the Korean custom of bowing to senior staff was revealed at the employment tribunal where the 43-year-old, whose father is English, was suing the UK headquarters of the top electronics firm for sex discrimination, age discrimination and racial discrimination.A reserved judgement by the employment panel stated that her claims for direct race discrimination and victimisation were “well founded and succeed.”The tribunal presided over by Judge Andrew Gumbiti-Zimuto heard that the British mother, from Sonning-on-Thames, Berks., said she used to spend hours of her day in the company director’s office “with the door firmly shut” before her job role was suddenly changed.She was signed off work over stress and told the company’s managing director Choong Sik Park that she was being harassed by Mr Yoo in August: “He said Mr Yoo was very angry that I had broken protocol by not bowing to him every morning when I get to work and I do not bow to him when I leave the office at night.”I didn’t want any opportunity for harassment to occur so I was avoiding Mr Yoo.”Mr Park revealed changes brought in by Mr Yoo in the workplace led to him asking “is he normal or is he mental?” after it was revealed Mrs McDonald and her manager had not come to an agreement over her job role amicably.The tribunal heard Mr Yoo was told he needed to reduce his staff numbers and gave her position in the accounts department to her former subordinate June Turner in a presentation to the company’s CEO.The MD said Mrs McDonald had agreed to leave the accounts department but voiced concern over Mr Yoo announcing the changes to colleagues.He said “in this situation I did think the timing was a little soon given the recent problems that had emerged between Mrs McDonald and Mr Yoo.”When I said ‘is he normal or is he mental’ – I was upset and frustrated with Mr Yoo.”After Mr Yoo shared a company chart which showed Mrs McDonald being moved to HR and her old finance managerial position given to her former underling, she wrote to the company’s former financial manager: “Mr (Kian) Tan, is this a fair way of telling me I am no longer in the accounts department? Do I not need to be consulted?”He replied: “You clearly need to talk to him, as usual he thinks he can do what he wants.”She replied: “I have already tried to talk to him on many occasions. I cannot continue to be treated like a slave.”Mr Tan told the tribunal: “It is very difficult to try to understand what he is trying to put across sometimes and I always told him that if you have any problem or anything you are not sure of, please consult me before you do any of that and that is why I wrote that.”A mediator for grievance hearings over her claim found “no reason to favour one account over another” and did not uphold Mrs McDonald’s complaint, the tribunal was told.Mr Yoo, through a translator, said he was “really sorry” for asking Mrs McDonald to make coffees but denied he asked her to bow.A remedy hearing where Mrs McDonald is expected to receive thousands of pounds from her company and Mr Yoo, will be heard on April 19. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Bulk materials handling specialist Transmin has switched from using Rammer, to using Atlas Copco for the supply of all industrial hammers used in their rockbreaker range. Transmin sources all of its hammers via sister company Breakers & Attachments Equipment Group (BA Equipment). In addition, Transmin has announced the signing of a new Australian distributor agreement with Yoshikawa Corporation, a world leader in ‘circle feeder’ technology used in bulk-materials handling operations across a vast range of industrial sectors, including mining.On the hammer development, BA Equipment Managing Director Campbell Nunn explains; “The switch to Atlas Copco from Rammer reflects the technical advantages of the new Atlas range over its rivals, as well as the incredible scope of supply and support delivered by Atlas Copco. At BA Equipment we can be confident we’re supplying our clients with the best breaker solution available on the market, for the best price, and with the best support.”Atlas Copco is one of the world’s largest suppliers of industrial breakers and attachments. The current MB (medium) and HB (heavy) range of hydraulic breakers were introduced in early 2013 and boast a number of key improvements, most notably a significant improvement in power to weight ratio, marketed as ‘less weight, more power.’ The reduced weight therefore requires less input power, resulting in lower operating costs over the lifetime of the equipment.Transmin is a leading manufacturer of rockbreakers and hydraulic boom systems used in mining operations globally to break down oversize rocks as they pass through the materials handling process. The company manufactured the largest rockbreaker/hydraulic boom system in the southern hemisphere for Rio Tinto’s Mount Tom Price mine in northern Western Australia. Nicknamed ‘Big Bertha’, the machine has a 10 m boom and 7 m jib.The scope of the Yoshikawa circle feeder agreement covers all states and territories within Australia, and includes Yoshikawa’s full range of circle feeders and associated parts and servicing. Transmin Capital Sales Manager Phil Gilbert stated: “Circle feeders are a highly innovative and effective alternative to traditional belt and screw feeders. Thanks to their circular motion, they guarantee consistent draw-down of materials – ensuring ‘first-in, first-out’, whilst removing the risk of material ‘bridging’ and ‘sludging’. They also allow the potential for multiple material inlet/outlet points.The result for many clients is a more efficient, more flexible handling operation that experiences reduced material wastage and spoiling, a more reliable flow, and improved space-saving efficiencies. All of which can have a positive impact on the bottom-line.”Yoshikawa manufactures circle feeders for virtually any commodity or material – including coal and other bulk mined products. Each feeder is engineered to the specific attributes of the material being handled, with feeder diameters ranging from 30 cm through to 4 m. Rob Rhodes, Transmin General Manager comments: “The Yoshikawa range is in perfect alignment with Transmin’s own longstanding specialisation in bulk materials handling equipment manufacturing. For almost 30 years Transmin has developed a world class reputation for engineering and manufacturing innovation. Yoshikawa Corporation is a prime example of precision Japanese manufacturing with innovation at the heart of their business. No other company in the world delivers a comparable feeder alternative. The Yoshikawa range therefore adds an extra level of integration for us as a business; providing our clients with access to top-of-the-range feeder technology. We’re delighted to announce the signing of this agreement, and we look forward to growing the Yoshikawa line here in Australia, alongside Transmin’s traditional feeder lines.”