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Asians around the world speak out on workplace discrimination

Asians around the world speak out against discrimination in the workplace

Posted on June 7, 2021

It’s not just in the streets, and it’s not just in the United States.

In Australia, 66.4% of Australian respondents of Asian origin to a survey last October said they had experienced discrimination at work, which is an increase of almost 15% in six months. The pandemic has worsened considerably in the country during this period, with coronavirus cases increasing from 4,862 to 27,109 between April and October last year, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University.

Australians of Asian origin also suffered a disproportionate drop in working hours last spring, which “was more than double the drop” for the rest of the population, according to researchers at the Australian National University, who reported conducted the study. They noted that there was “a range of possible explanations” for the disparity, including “that discrimination against Asian Australians in the workplace may have had an effect”.

In the UK, the Chinese employment rate fell 4.6% between the first quarter of 2020 and the second, nearly three times more than declines recorded by other ethnic groups, according to government data.

“It is likely that the strong representation of Chinese and East Asians in hard-hit sectors like hospitality is one of them, but direct discrimination by employers may also play a role,” Frances O’Grady, secretary General of the Trade Union Congress. , a British coalition of unions, told CNN Business.

The coronavirus outbreak was first detected in China last year, leading some politicians to blame the country for the crisis. Victims and community groups say this has encouraged more people to show hostility towards those perceived to be of Asian – and especially Chinese – descent.

CNN Business spoke to 38 workers in 11 countries who said they had experienced or witnessed prejudice in various ways since the start of the pandemic, from explicit harassment to subtle micro-attacks.

They are of various Asian ethnicities, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Filipino.

Here are 11 of their stories.

CNN Business has spoken to dozens of people around the world.

Read, watch or listen to some of their experiences of racial discrimination in the workplace.

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