In Europe and America, an innocent black man likely becomes a suspect because of the colour of his skin. At the premises of the industrial cleaning company, are workers from various countries, including Africans. For almost three months, the company we were working for, takes us to another industrial company in the district of Antwerp, called FABRICOM, to work there.
Fabricom is a construction company occupying a very large terrace. The company installs and maintains electricity installations, video surveillance, heating etc. Like the officials, the industrial workers also used containers as offices, toilets and dining hall.
The work at Fabricom was very heavy, thus; among hardworking operational staff, we do eight hours per day and most of the time, I drive a forklift. At 12 P.M, we have our lunch break. It was launch time we detected that some of the workers’ launch box had gone missing.
To work very hard and to find out that your lunch box is missing or stolen, is an issue too tough to handle. This didn’t happen once or twice but daily. Action speaks louder than words. Being Africans among white workers, all eyes were on us as the suspect, even though we weren’t accused of any theft.
At the dining hall, the atmosphere becomes tense, when on the fifth day of the week, one of the workers finds his food stolen again. This time, the management decides to do something about it. They secretly started their investigations, creating undetected hideout aiming to catch the person responsible for this theft red-handed.
The following week, about a quarter to noonday, a mysterious man emerged into the quiet dining hall, looking for a meal to steal. After tasting a number of meals, he finds a delicious one and he took it. As he tries to walk out he was intercepted.
Shockingly, out of over hundreds of workers at the company, the mysterious thief appeared to be one of our colleagues from Portugal. He was interrogated but the company didn’t call the police. Instead, they informed the boss of our company of what has happened.
Fabricom wouldn’t like to see the thief at the company’s premises again, so the company I was serving sent the Portuguese to another place to work. Sometimes it’s very hard to be judged wrongly because of the colour of your skin, but that shouldn’t prevent us to build a good relationship, with our neighbours, colleagues and our bosses.