Severed workers upset over Tribunal decision

While leaders of both the Barbados Workers Union and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) declared victory in their cases against the National Conservation Commission (NCC), the severed workers did not see any reason to celebrate.

The Employments Rights Tribunal today ruled that the retrenched workers, who were sent home in April 2014 as part of Government’s cost-saving exercise, were unfairly dismissed.

However, contrary to the NUPW’s desires, the Tribunal did not order their reinstatement, but ordered the NCC to pay compensation equivalent to 52 weeks’ wages.

Both unions saw the ruling as vindication of their fight for the rights of the employees.

However, the workers, who had travelled to the Tribunal’s Warrens, St Michael office for the much anticipated ruling, were angry at the result.

Anderson Chase, the claimant in the BWU’s case, told Barbados TODAY the decision was “bittersweet [because] some people may feel good and some will not feel good”.

“People that was retrenched from the NCC is people with more than ten years [service] so you can’t be as excited as you would want to be. Some may find a job and some may not. Those people still have families to feed,” he said.

Chase made reference to one of the retrenched workers who had 17 grandchildren, all of whom needed support when school resumes in September.

“She is in that position and we do not know what stage or what date we will get our compensation – if now, if next week or before December,” a disappointed Chase said.

The claimant for the NUPW Cutie Lynch did not hide her displeasure with the result, storming out without commenting.

Her anger was surpassed by a furious Norma Phillips who complained that after 14 years of service to the NCC she had nothing to show for it.

Anderson Chase name claimant for the BWU & Norma Phillipss explaining why she is upset about the decision.
Anderson Chase name claimant for the BWU & Norma Phillipss explaining why she is upset about the decision.

“None of my children are working anymore and it’s hard. My dad can’t help me no more, my light off two months, my water off and I trying to get back on. I went and talk to water works but they tell me they can’t give me much help,” a tearful Phillips said.

One former worker, who did not give her name, said: “Two years of unemployment is a lot. It is alright to get money, but how long will the money last?”

She also blasted the NCC for not sticking to the first-in-last-out policy.

“They keep people with nine months and let go people with ten and 15 years and can’t get a good reason to us. I am glad that we won the case, but still,” the emotional woman said.

Meanwhile, another angry woman blurted out in reference to NCC General Manager Keith Neblett and Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe: “Right now Neblett and Lowe win.”

6 Responses to Severed workers upset over Tribunal decision

  1. Brien King
    Brien King July 16, 2016 at 3:51 am

    I hope the workers are given their money as soon as possible, without any delay whatsoever and without any excuse too. If the government can somehow find money to do all types of projects, they can find it to pay these workers with immediate effect. They need their money urgently to survive this economically hostile environment.

  2. Mervin Kellman July 16, 2016 at 9:05 am

    These workers are the victims of an egregious and cowardly plot, orchestrated by the Democratic Labour Party, managed by Denis Low and facilitated by Keith Neblett.
    The Employments Rights Tribunal, a creature of the D.L.P, after contributing to their frustration, has now provided them with a hollow victory, which offers little by way or recompense for the pain, suffering and personal embarrassment they have had to endure nor for the yeoman service many of them have given to the N.C.C.
    What should have been a happy occasion for these Barbadians has only added to their despair.

    • miche July 16, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      Victims ? They were employed as Temporary workers,and they knew this from the get go,,but were misled by a set of power hungry,,,uncaring set of individuals ,calling themselves the Opposers,,,,,,,for they are not the opposition that they were placed there to be

  3. Smiley July 16, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    PAY now not later, politics in this saga hurting people badly.Use your money wisely and I hope you find employment opportunities soon somewhere else.

  4. miche July 16, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    You can never please a greedy ,,selfish person,,,,you can never teach them a common teaching,like little with contentment,is great gain,,,You can never teach them that 10% of a hundred,is better than 100% of nothing….You can never convince them that TEMPORARY mean until such a time as,,,,,and is not until death do you part….They can never be thankful for small blessings

  5. BaJan boy July 17, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    They will delay the payment until near elections as part of the feel good for elections. Hal Gollop would make that decision to make the workers feel good but note the money they getting 20 000 and no work they will hardly ever find work again in this country under these heartless and indifferent people. They must get up and make sure they help vote out these bandits and let the true leaders take the country and provide a better life for our people.


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