ROYAL Mail has been condemned over its treatment of a ‘whistle-blower’ who flagged up ‘endemic racism’ at an East Lancashire sorting office.

Former postal worker Abdul Musa is believed to have walked away with a settlement of at least £100,000 after he was found to have been racially victimised at Blackburn’s Canterbury Street depot.

An employment tribunal heard that Asian workers, including Mr Musa, were labelled ‘cockroaches’ ‘vermin’ and ‘P****’, and an Italian worker also received racial slurs and was dubbed a ‘greasy b*****d’.

An employment tribunal judge, ruled that Mr Musa was unfairly dismissed and upheld his racial discrimination claims.

He said the postal giant’s investigation into Mr Musa’s concerns, raised between 2006 and 2007, was ‘shambolic’.

And the Equality Commission attacked Royal Mail for failing to protect Mr Musa, from Burnley, following efforts by a union and fellow staff to drive him out.

In a statement the Commission said: “The tribunal found that managers at the depot in Blackburn had known endemic racism was an issue, but failed to act to protect Mr Musa.

After Mr Musa complained about his treatment he was later accused of a string of ‘quite incredible’ racial and sexual counter-accusations, and sacked in early 2007.

Postal worker Christopher Eccles was sacked, as a result of the ongoing abuse, and 12 colleagues, many of whom can be named for the first time today, were later disciplined.

The episode prompted strike action at the delivery office and the graffiti ‘Kill The P****’ appeared in a staff toilet, the tribunal was told.

Tribunal judge Mrs C Porter said it was ‘quite startling’ that the graffiti’s origins were then never investigated.

Mrs Porter added: “The procedure adopted by the respondent (Royal Mail) for the investigations and disciplinary action was shambolic.”

An internal Royal Mail inquiry, conducted by an independent investigator, Neil Donovan, decided that Mr Musa, who is of Indian origin, was racially, verbally, and physically harrassed by more than a dozen colleagues.

Concerns were also raised by the judge about the actions of the Communication Workers Union in ‘priming’ and ‘intimidating’ witnesses, during a series of internal inquiries.

But the findings of a later Royal Mail investigation into the wider issues identified at the Blackburn office, was said to have not been made available to the tribunal by the company.

The tribunal ruled Mr Musa’s continuing employment was seen as a ‘problem’ by Royal Mail, ‘which was resolved by his dismissal.’ John Wadham, a former director of Liberty and now general counsel for the EHRC, said: “The fact that his colleagues were acting unlawfully was not enough to stop them from victimising Mr Musa.

“People facing discrimination also need an advocate, such as the Commission, to make sure that the law is obeyed.”

The EHRC funded Mr Musa’s case after his previous legal representation withdrew from the proceedings.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “There is no room in Royal Mail for racism or any other form of discrimination. We are committed to investigating any complaint of discrimination fairly and thoroughly.”

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “Behaviour like this has always been unacceptable but in this day and age it is outrageous and doesn’t do anyone any credit.”