Out of order

Former Nassco Ltd employee Martin King Monday told the Employment Rights Tribunal that he was fired three years ago without being given a chance to defend himself against allegations that he gave fraudulent vehicle valuations to one of the company’s major customers.

That evidence was given in the case in which he and another ex Nassco employee, St Clair Roach, are claiming unfair dismissal.

King, who was employed at Nassco Ltd for 21 years as a car sales executive, spent the hour-long session being cross examined by his legal counsel Shane Brathwaite.

His dismissal surrounded the valuation he gave to cars owned by Premier Pre-Owned Vehicles Inc and Executive Rentals, whose owner was designated a “fleet customer” – a customer who buys two or more vehicles at a time and has the privilege of having their vehicles valued without them actually being presented for valuation.

King told the tribunal’s chairman Omari Drakes and other tribunal members, John Williams and Beverley Beckles, that the owner of Premier Pre-owned Vehicles and Executive Rentals was known to Nassco for over ten years, and benefited from such a service.

However, King denied a suggestion that he gave the owner fraudulent valuations so that he could access loans from a lending facility run by Nassco.

Commenting on his dismissal, King told the tribunal that he was invited to a disciplinary hearing on June 27, 2014 and issued with a letter of termination.

He said he was not allowed to give his side of the case or bring an individual with him to the hearing, as stipulated under the Employment Rights Act.

During his testimony, King became very emotional when he was asked how his termination had impacted on his life.

With tear-filled eyes, he said: “It has impacted negatively on my marriage. My wife fell ill and she has medical bills of $3,500 a month. My last son has since suffered seizures. He now has a medical bill of $200 a month.”

King added that his mortgage was in arrears and he had to depend on one of his friends to service it, as well as pay road tax and insurance on his vehicle.

He told the tribunal that in May 2015 he was able to find temporary work at the Barbados National Oil Company (BNOC) which was carrying out its drilling programme.

17 Responses to Out of order

  1. Pearl Carrington
    Pearl Carrington June 20, 2017 at 1:27 am

    It took three years to bring a case before the Employment Rights Tribunal????..Miss P

    Reply
    • Wade Gibbons
      Wade Gibbons June 20, 2017 at 7:58 am

      By our standards three years is significantly fast.

      Reply
      • Sunshine Sunny Shine June 20, 2017 at 12:10 pm

        Wrong buster, Three years is considered fast compared to others who wait in excess of 10 to 15 years. I think he is lucky.

        Reply
  2. Eureen Gill June 20, 2017 at 1:45 am

    I know what it is to be unemployed for three years. Rent to pay and loans to pay. I don’t know the full circumstances behind this case. However it must have been great pain for a man with a wife and child to go through such being the husband the sole bread winner. I know the home not working feeling thing.

    Reply
  3. Tony Webster June 20, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Hmmm…it susprises that as an adjacent foot-note, not even a passing mention is made in this piece, of the status of the Executive Rentals thing/fiasco/case? Hopefully, not another “cold case” resting quietly on some desk?

    Reply
  4. hcalndre June 20, 2017 at 6:26 am

    It looks like a waste of time persuing these issues, the time it takes to have anything done in Barbados seem to be a joke.

    Reply
  5. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner June 20, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Third world systems in Barbados guess that is how third world countries operate..Last week 12 years for sexual assault case now three years for unfair dismissal hearing and the list goes on and on.

    Reply
  6. Greengiant June 20, 2017 at 8:21 am

    This case is a nasty one, ” this company and it’s practices goes right to the top of administrative influence in this country “.

    This company was granted many sweetheart deals in this country and indeed throughout the region in preparation for ICC world cup 2007. Though it was around a number of years before the event, certain partners came on board leading up to 2007, and the financial manipulation mess began with permission. The dismissed employees are only pawns in the whole mess, but this fixed agreement goes to the top of company and country MAYBE who knows. Stay tuned for the legal side effects.

    Reply
  7. Milli Watt June 20, 2017 at 9:31 am

    glad that this newspaper is covering the tribunal hearings….the three years is as a result of the tribunal consisting of a lawyer who is working during the day and coming to sit at 2 in the afternoon till 4, lawyers who adjourn matters indiscriminately with the support of the tribunal (did I mention that the tribunal is lead by a lawyer), limited space, staff and the sheer number of unfair dismissals that go on in this country adding to the number already in the system

    Reply
  8. Milli Watt June 20, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Nassco is a part of the private sector, Senator Ince reported the private sector is a PARASITE so I will leave you boys and girls to do the math about NASSCO

    Reply
  9. tedd June 20, 2017 at 11:05 am

    the impact on his personal life is not relevant to the proceedings at all, it only serves to bring emotionalism into the matter. the issue here is firstly if the guy did something illegal or against the company procedures and policy. the second is if there were sufficient grounds for dismissal and thirdly if the procedure in terminating the workers were followed. pity and feeling sorry for a persons hardships does not come into play.

    Reply
    • Sunshine Sunny Shine June 20, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      After 21 years of service, and having to bring his case before a Tribunal, the least that one can do is to give him the benefit of the doubt. Most white-owned businesses in Barbados operates under a certain degree of prejudice. Most of the time, the black employees face difficult circumstances made so by their employer. If he made an error in judgement, you mean to tell me that this one error completely dismisses his 21 years of service? The result of this case will be interesting.

      Reply
      • Milli Watt June 20, 2017 at 9:26 pm

        @ tedd it counts……if the company complained of a wrong done against it no problem but the employee complains of the wrongs he has had to deal with it is emotionalism stupse……..hope the barbados today cover these hearings in their entirety

        Reply
  10. Ishaaq June 20, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    After 21 years this man should have been given the chance to put forward his case. It sounds like they wanted him gone. If they allowed him to speak and talk things over then maybe they could have parted ways more amicably.

    Just to fire him like that could break a man.

    There are ways to do things that is both respectful and accommodating. If you want the man to go for whatever reason put together a package that he may leave with pride and dignity that he may find another job. Don’t break him. Help him to move on.

    Reply
  11. Barney Rubble June 20, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    The salesmen were fired. Were they acting under instructions to do valuations for this client, from someone in authority over them?

    When and how did the Nassco hierarchy realize they had a problem with these valuations? After all from the reported testimony it would appear this was common occurrence for this client.

    Has Nassco started legal proceedings against the company or its directors that received the money for the ghost cars? If memory serves me correctly the owner of this company was charged with 67 counts of fraud.

    Or is it just a case of the lowly insignificant workers being made the scapegoats for obeying orders.

    I believe there is a lot more to this story.

    Reply
  12. Ras June 21, 2017 at 10:07 am

    PARASITE

    A person who habitually relies on or exploits others and gives little or nothing in return.

    Reply
  13. Tony Webster June 21, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Very happy that BT is following this. Hmmmm….formally valuing a vehicle for legal/commercial reasons …how possible without a thorough , physical examination, AND a road test…telling its value…perhaps…by how it smells from a distance?
    C’mon guys…your reputation is right out there…at the end of a branch…

    Reply

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