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Hinkson wants Lowe to pay

Member of Parliament for St James North, Edmund Hinkson, has called for Minister of the Environment, Denis Lowe, to be held accountable for this week’s multi-million dollar payout to close to 200 former workers of the National Conservation Commission (NCC) who were made redundant two years ago.

In July the Employment Rights Tribunal ruled that the workers were wrongfully dismissed when they were sent home in 2014, and ordered compensation equivalent to 52 weeks wages.

They received their payouts earlier this week.

In a statement issued today, Hinkson said it was a welcome relief to know that the workers, some of whom are his constituents, had been compensated.

According to him the payments bring partial vindication to what must represent “one of the saddest moments in employer-employee relations” since the establishment of trade unions in Barbados’ history.

St James North MP Edmund Hinkson addressing young constituents.

St James North MP Edmund Hinkson.

He noted that the redundancies occurred after the workers were assured just over a year prior, that their public sector jobs were secure.

The opposition MP added that shortly before the dismissals, the public was told by the Minister of Labour that Cabinet had decided that the last in first out principle would apply in the selection of who would be sent home from the NCC and other government agencies and statutory corporations.

“Yet, many workers with over 10 and even 15 years’ employment at the Commission were made redundant while those with 1 or 2 years’ employment were kept on the job,” he stated.

According to him, the decision by the NCC to ignore Cabinet’s decision has perhaps cost the public millions of taxpayers’ money in employment rights and severance payments to those workers, as well as in expenses of the tribunal hearings.

Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe

Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe.

The attorney at law charged that this is an error for which Lowe, whose ministry is responsible for the NCC, must take full political responsibility.

“It was revealed to the public before the final decision was taken as to who would be sent home that the Minister had the list of persons who it was proposed should lose their jobs.

“The foremost political responsibility as to those who were chosen to be fired must, in my opinion, rest with him as the Minister with ultimate accountability,” Hinkson said.

He also cited a recent ruling handed down in Belize by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which indicated that a Minister of government can, under certain circumstances, be ordered to repay the state, and ultimately the taxpayers, for its financial losses which have arisen from what he called “the Minister’s abuse of authority”.

“Surely Minister Lowe ought to be held accountable to the people of Barbados for the arbitrary decision taken by the NCC Board of Directors and management which has cost us so dearly financially!

“Surely Minister Lowe should be required by the Prime Minister and by the Cabinet of Barbados to repay the State the financial loss suffered by the Barbadian taxpayers as a result of this disastrous mistake!” he said.

Hinkson added that the issue provides “yet another reason” why the Prime Minister ought to relieve Minister Lowe of his Cabinet position.

 

Source: PR

12 Responses to Hinkson wants Lowe to pay

  1. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan October 15, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Some valid points. The NCC retrenchments should have been handled better. But the absurdity of expecting the Minister to be financially responsible for this is beyond me. Please take your thoughts to Ms M. before you keep embarrassing the party with piffle

    Reply
    • Jai Khan
      Jai Khan October 15, 2016 at 10:51 pm

      You should ask Belize. And carry him with you for the answer too

      Reply
  2. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan October 15, 2016 at 8:04 pm
    Reply
  3. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan October 15, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Another Trump… Bring the licks

    Reply
  4. Big Brown October 15, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Pigs will fly first. Not in this DLP Government! They have tossed aside every traditional protocol of good governance know to democratic countries.

    It started with David Thompson allowing his Minister of Sport, Ronald Jonesto remain as President of the BFA. Clearly a conflict of interest.

    Several Ministers of Government have continued to manage their business or professional practices, against tradition established since Independence.

    But we here boasting about 50 years of Independence. How standards have sunk so low that it will take some some time to restore them.

    Reply
  5. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole October 15, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    He has a valid point and I agree with him. There has clearly been a misuse of authority here. No Minister should be above the law and they must all be held reslonsible for their actions regardless of which party is in power. If he can be taken to court and sued by all means let it me done. This irony here is that if this occurs we will all know how much money he has in his mother’s bank account.

    Reply
  6. Johnathan October 16, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Some gave themselves ZR permits when they managed MTW. Some have an interest in garbage trucks hence let the garbage pile up and justify my actions. Some have an interest in water tankers hence let the crisis continue so it justifies my buying a few trucks and have a contract so that when I am gone I can still live large. Instead of buying tanks lets rent them and put them on the ground don’t care if all of the water comes out as long as I get my monthly commission from the rental company. @Big brown that is good governance….

    Reply
  7. Bajan boy October 16, 2016 at 12:19 am

    All of them have business seemingly consistent with the Ministries they have. Denis Lowe is one disrespectful,classless indifferent Minister whose only concern seem to be money. We know of the BMW through Transtec but there are lots more but time is longer twine. The garbage issue was constructed to pay them so is the water issue..

    Reply
  8. jrsmith October 16, 2016 at 5:45 am

    These Barbados politicians have no shame no trustworthiness . Getting away with everything under the sun.. all because our country is very,very corrupt.. As I always say the day is coming when it all hits the fan there is lots of figure heads in this here Barbados who is above the law playing crooked games , wait and see most of them is going to end up as like a certain gentleman. just wait and see….. bajans should never feel sorry for certain people when the end comes.

    Reply
  9. Tony Webster October 16, 2016 at 6:36 am

    All these comments, and nary a mention of the small irony…the elephant in the room: these folks are just indulging in “Industry”….and the “Pride” that is the natural result of such activities, n’est pas?
    Corruption…left hidden/accepted with a shrug, and more crucially, left un-punished..is like a cancer that eats away at the soul of a nation.

    Who is to blame? Try looking in the mirror.

    Reply
  10. Phil October 16, 2016 at 9:31 am

    With this administration, there will be NO CHANGES. Fruenky Donkey frighten like hell to reshuffle. He is guided by the knights of the round table. King Richard is positioned as acting because he can be easily controlled. Dr. Dave is too rebellious in their eyes.> He wants it. Dennis of Six Men thinks He should have it. BRA man wants it too. Not forgetting Low Low man whose address seem to be QEH now and who don’t know that he’s too unwell to continue, wants a shot too. Man it’s bare confusion In DEM party. Call elections? never before it is due. To much money yo lose. I hope those people get interest on the outstanding payments Ah gone……

    Reply
  11. Carson C Cadogan October 16, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Dont worry Hinkson, you will soon have to pay when Payne wins his case against you.

    Reply

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