Finnish bus company continues to prohibit Sikh employee from wearing a turban

by , under Enrique

Migrant Tales reported in September a landmark case in which a Sikh busman could wear a turban while at work. Helsingin Sanomat reported Thursday, however, that matters didn’t turn the way that the Vantaa Sikh busman, Gill Sukhdarshan Singh, thought.

According to Helsingin Sanomat,  the Sikh busman is still not allowed to wear a turban at work.

Migrant Tales attempted without luck to get in touch with Sukhdarshan Singh.

The Southern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency (Avi), which ruled in Junethat a turban ban by the employer was discriminatory, gave the bus company until the end of September to redress the matter.

Juha Nykänen of Veolia Transport let Helsingin Sanomat know that the company’s stand on the matter hasn’t changed despite Avi’s ruling and Sukhdarshan Singh’s hope that matters would change from the end of September.

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Even if Sikh busmen won similar rights in England in 1969, Viola Transport argues that using a turban ia a safety risk and does not comply with the company’s uniform.

Tuomas Ojanen, professor of constitutional law at Helsinki University, said that the bus company’s stand is difficult to defend in court since it violates Sukhdarshan Singh’s human rights.

Juhani Korteinen of Avi told Migrant Tales that it will give a statement “in a few weeks” concerning the matter.

Avi doesn’t have the power to fine Viola Transport if it doesn’t comply with its ruling. It can, however, ask the police to carry out an investigation for discrimination, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

The negative stand of Sukhdarshan Singh reveals a common attitude that some Finns have of immigrants and of cultural diversity. They incorrectly believe that adaption of people of different backgrounds is a one-way process.