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Jul 24, 2020

C.W.U. Says All is Not Lost!

Anthony Sylvester

Following the court’s proceedings, attorney Anthony Sylvester spoke on behalf of the Christian Workers Union. Now, the matter that was before the court today wasn’t taken by the C.W.U. and its members – that was strictly the AG on behalf of the Labour Commissioner. In this matter, the C.W.U. was solely an interested party.  Sylvester told reporters that all is not lost. He went on to explain the outcome and what it means for them moving forward.


Anthony Sylvester, Attorney for C.W.U.

“The point is that the judge explained that in the Act there is no provision which explains the consequences of the failure of the employer to consult. So that even if the employees were to come to court, they would not be able to show the court what specific wrong was being done. In any event, as pointed out, the employees’ cause of action would be a claim of unfair dismal or wrongful termination which has to be pursued through the Labour Complaints Tribunal. So, what could have happened is that the employees, the union, would have been exposed to potential cause be made against them.”



“Sir, it would seem as it though the deck is stacked against the employees?”


Anthony Sylvester

“No. Not at all. As we are speaking, we are in the process of compiling the requisite evidence so that we can file the unfair dismissal claim, the wrongful dismissal claim to the Labour complaints tribunal as early as Monday. Fortunately, the Labour Complaints Tribunal has been constituted by the Minister of Labour; as a result we now have that avenue to pursue. So, all is not lost and so we will pursue that.”



“It appears the other side brought in a heavy weight and it seems that the side of the government wasn’t as prepared as it should have been?”


Anthony Sylvester

“With respect, I absolutely disagree with you. These are unchartered waters. The whole issue with respect to labour relations post COVID, there are unchartered waters so there are new waters and regrettably there are some employers who may want to take advantage of the situation. All I would say is that the law especially after post COVID is evolving. So, the courts will, of necessity, when cases come before it re-fashion the whole approach. But very interestingly and very importantly as well is that the Justice pointed out that Act is silent about what can be done on an interim basis, when for instance, an employee may be faced with a situation like that. So, that is something, perhaps the legislators can look at what for instance recourse an employee who apprehends that they may be terminated, in clear contravention of the act, what can they do? The act at this present time only provides an avenue for recourse after termination which is belatedly and regrettably puts the employee in no better position and in fact a worse position than they would have been.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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