Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 19th 2015 Contents A13
Saturday, December 19, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
JENSEN LA VENDE
The constituency office for Laventille
East/Morvant was yesterday ordered to
pay an ex-employee $50,000 after the
Industrial Court found that the woman
was unlawfully terminated.
In a 16-page ruling by the three-member
panel led by chairperson Heather Seale and
members Gregory Rousseau and Nizam Khan,
dismissed employee Nicole Shallow was ordered
to receive the monies on or before January 29,
Shallow was employed by then member of
Parliament Donna Cox to work in the constituen-
cy office as a communications and activities
co-ordinator, between October 2008 and Decem-
ber 18, 2009, when she was fired.
Shallow argued that on December 18, 2009,
she and Cox had a telephone conversation in
which Cox told her to get out of the office and
that she was fired. She added that subsequent
attempts to get a dismissal letter from Cox were
unsuccessful. Through the Banking, Insurance and
General Workers Union (BIGWU), Shallow sought
a total of $92,000 inclusive of loss of wages, future
loss of earnings and loss of benefits of past serv-
ice.The union, through its officer Jason Brown,
argued that the dismissal was harsh, oppressive
and not in keeping with good industrial relations.
BIGWU added that Shallow was not given any
prior warnings that her work was unsatisfactory
as a basis for the dismissal and the conversation
that led to the dismissal did not give Shallow
ample opportunity to respond to the allegations
of insubordination made against her by Cox.
The tribunal agreed that Cox herself could not
be made to pay the monies as the employment
of Shallow came under the parliamentary office,
exempting her from liabilities.
The office, which is now being utilised by
current MP for the constituency Adrian
Leonce, will have to pay the sum.
In reaching their decision the members
of the tribunal stated that though Cox
made allegations in her statement about
Shallow s conduct during her time of
employment, no documentary evidence was
put forward to support the claim.
Cox also submitted that her telling Shallow
to leave was not a dismissal. However, the tribunal
found that Shallow s receipt of a severance was in
keeping with the terms of employment for termi-
nation of service.
As retrenched workers of ArcelorMittal
and Tube City IMS face a grim Christmas
this year, president of the Steel Workers Union
Christopher Henry is appealing to corporate
T&T to bring Christmas cheer.
There has been some promising news
as a religious organisation, the Key
of David International, announced
that it would partner with the stu-
dent guild of the Cipriani College
of Labour and Cooperative Studies
to provide 100 food hampers to the
affected families of workers who
were laid off last month.
Hampers will be distributed dur-
ing a Christmas Day service at the
Plaisance Park Community Centre.
There will also be a community
walk and motorcade from Claxton
Bay junction to Marabella round-
about today, from 9 am to 2 pm, to
raise awareness of the dismissed
steel workers plight.
In an interview on Thursday,
Henry said he was recently contacted
by the pastor of Key of David Inter-
national, saying that they sympa-
thised with the 600 workers
ArcelorMittal sent home just before
"We are seeing that this organ-
isation is taking front as it relates to
these 600 workers who were laid off
before Christmas and we hope that
corporate T&T will follow suit and bring
some relief to the workers.
The organisation is having a march on Sat-
urday so we want to support that too and we
are really hoping that corporate T&T will look
at how they can bring Christmas cheer."
He said the Joint Trade Union Movement
visited the Office of the Prime Minister on
Monday and delivered two letters relating to
the retrenchment of over 1,500 steel workers
this year as well as unions objection to con-
He said the country benefited from almost
$1 billion in revenue from the ArcelorMittal
steel plant, with almost $19 million going to
the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commis-
sion, $23 million to the National Gas Company,
and $1 million to the Water and Sewerage
Authority, while other service providers
depended on the plant operations for work.
He said with the plant shut down and com-
panies losing a client, more workers were on
A spokesperson of the Key of David Inter-
national said, "We believe it is our respon-
sibility to help those in need. As a
ministry, our call is to go beyond the
pulpit and go out into the commu-
nity to bless people.
The first measurement of a min-
istry is to be able to respond in kind
to the vulnerable."
The organisation said ongoing
prayer, counselling and financial
planning were available to all those
concerned during this time of eco-
President of the Cipriani student guild
Runako Williams said they were also con-
cerned about the impact the layoffs would
have on communities and the overall econ-
"It is our hope that additional support will
be given by ArcelorMittal as well as continued
dialogue amongst stakeholders," Williams said.
Food hampers for
to pay for
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