Australian supermarket in race row

Coles supermarket. Photo / Google Street View
Coles supermarket. Photo / Google Street View

A leading supermarket chain in Australia has come under fire for a job advert that advised 'no Indians or Asians' should apply.

Coles supermarket was slammed after the discriminatory advert seeking cleaners for a branch near the Tasmanian capital of Hobart was posted on the internet.

A spokesman for the supermarket said the advert had been issued by a subcontractor without the company's knowledge.

"Coles is a proud, equal-opportunity employer and at no time have we ever issued the directives contained in this ad," spokesman Jim Cooper said.

He added the company had terminated the subcontractor's contract and vowed to educate its next cleaning contractor on the firm's equal opportunity employment policies.

The advert had appeared on classifieds website Gumtree but has since been taken down.

Tasmania's Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Robin Banks is now looking into the incident.

She told CNN: "I'm certainly going to look at commencing an investigation into what's happening - the role of Gumtree, what Coles' role was, and find out more details about the subcontractor."

Ms Banks was first alerted to the advert after it was posted on her Facebook page.

She said: "One of the things we're trying to encourage in Australia, especially in Tasmania, is for people to do something about it (discrimination), to report it."

The ad was, Ms Banks, said "discriminatory on the basis of race" and breached the Tasmania Anti-Discrimination Act.

She added Coles would be examined to see if it "fulfilled its obligations to ensure its agents do not engage in discrimination" as would Gumtree.

Ms Banks said that although she had never seen a discriminatory job ad on Gumtree before, she had encountered others elsewhere.

"It happens every so often," she said.

According to the 2011 census, 1.4 per cent of Australia's population is of Indian heritage while 1.5 per cent is of Chinese heritage.

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