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Saturday, November 29, 2014
London: council worker sacked for mentioning God in workplace
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London: council worker sacked for mentioning God in workplace | Duke Amachree

Duke Amachree
Colleagues and friends of a south London council worker are planning a vigil at Wandsworth Town Hall tonight, to save the job of a man sacked for briefly mentioning the name of God in the workplace.

Duke Amachree has worked as a homelessness prevention officer for 18 years.  One day, in a client meeting, a woman told him she had recently learnt she was suffering from a terminal illness. Duke tried to comfort her by commenting that sometimes the doctors don’t know everything, and he encouraged her to consider "putting her faith in God".

Two days later Duke was handed a letter informing him he had been suspended, had his ID pass confiscated and was escorted from the premises.

Andrea Williams, Director of the Christian Legal Centre, who is  now representing  Duke said today: “Duke is a gentle, intelligent and compassionate man who served Wandsworth Council diligently for18 years – providing a vital service as a homelessness prevention officer.

“Is this really the Britain we live in? Whether we have faith or not, to the mind of every reasonable person I speak to, this treatment is astonishing.

“We at the Christian Legal Centre are in full support of Duke Amachree and invite all reasonable people to call for Duke to be reinstated at his internal appeal hearing taking place at Wandsworth Town Hall on 15th December."

Duke’s family, friends and fellow employees have launched the ‘Justice For Duke’ Campaign, which  has seen advert placements on London buses, a day of prayer throughout hundreds of churches across London on Sunday and tonight (15th), a candlelight vigil outside Wandsworth Town Hall on the evening of the appeal.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, from the Christian Legal Centre which is supporting Duke in this case, said that in its experience Wandsworth’s treatment of Duke is one of the most “astonishing for the extreme treatment of a long serving employee when there was no breach of contract and where the supposed ‘misdemeanour’ was the merest mention of God”.

"Full details about the campaign can be found at  www.justiceforduke.com. We hope this will be a rallying point of support for a good man terribly treated in a Britain nobody visiting our time from the 1950s would recognise or want to believe was real.

"Amazingly, Duke’s solicitor was even told in a meeting prior to Duke’s dismissal that it was not advisable to say ‘God bless’ either, giving rise to the very apt headline earlier this year ‘Say “God Bless” and We’ll Sack You’.”

Andrea added: “I hope this campaign will not only win Duke back his job in time for Christmas but also send a signal that the majority of people in Britain, whatever their beliefs, can see this for what it is and demand a return to a proportionate, common sense approach to religious faith in our society. Indeed, this I believe would make an excellent Christmas present for us all”.

Note:  Duke lost his appeal last night. A  council spokesman told him that mentioning religion was "a dangerous thing to do."  The Christian Legal Centre will now be taking the case to an Employment Tribunal.

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