Syn­a­gogue didn’t dig deep for my wages, claims ceme­tery worker

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY CANDICE KRIEGER

A JEWISH ceme­tery worker is ac­cus­ing the United Syn­a­gogue of racial dis­crim­i­na­tion, claim­ing that non-Jewish work­ers were paid more than him for work­ing at Christ­mas.

Peter Sol­losi, 48, who was em­ployed by the US as part of its chevrah kadisha (burial com­mit­tee), said he felt “bul­lied” by the US which, he claims, made un­law­ful de­duc­tions from his wages.

He al­leges that though he was paid dou­ble his daily salary for Christ­mas Day 2006, non-Jewish work­ers were paid five times their nor­mal rate.

A Hack­ney Syn­a­gogue mem­ber, Mr Sol­losi is tak­ing the US to an em­ploy­ment tri­bunal in July, when he will also claim con­struc­tive dis­missal.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Sol­losi, he was first em­ployed by the US in Jan­uary 2004 on a full-time 45-hour week con­tract, amended in 2005 to a min­i­mum 30 hours. He was pri­mar­ily based at Waltham Abbey ceme­tery in Es­sex. He re­signed last Septem­ber af­ter tak­ing six months’ sick leave for a knee in­jury sus­tained out­side work. He claims he did not re­ceive sick pay and was told he was no longer re­quired.

He said: “They [the US] have re­fused to recog­nise that I was an em­ployee, but I have the con­tract to prove it. When I was work­ing there, they treated me as an em­ployee but when it came to sick pay, they did not. I am shocked by the way I have been treated. I want them to ac­knowl­edge I was an em­ployee, then I’ll walk away.”

His so­lic­i­tor, Ash­ley Bean of Fowkes & Son, said: “If the United Syn­a­gogue loses, this could open the flood­gates for other Jewish em­ploy­ees to make claims they were un­favourably treated.”

A US spokesper­son said: “The mat­ter is be­fore an em­ploy­ment tri­bunal, so it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to com­ment.”

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