Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 5th 2014 Contents DEREK ACHONG
The Port-of-Spain Magistrates
Court was virtually shut down
yesterday, with almost 95 per
cent of administrative support
staff staying away from work in
protest of new policies being
implemented at the court.
In response to the action, which
almost completely crippled the
court s productivity, the judiciary
issued a press release last night,
acknowledging repercussions of
the protest and assuring members
of the public that operations at
the court would return to normal
"Persons with matters listed
for tomorrow or wishing to con-
duct other business such as the
payment of traffic ticket fines or
applications for liquor licences
are invited to attend court and
seek services as usual," the release
The T&T Guardian was told
that the protest, which was guised
by some of the protesting workers
as a reaction to rumours of a
tuberculosis outbreak, was in fact
related to the work of a senior
administrative officer who began
making changes in staff policy
since being assigned to the court,
a little over a month ago.
The judiciary s release stated
that the "sickout" action affected
every department of the court
and even included some police
officers assigned to Court and
Some of the changes being
opposed by the protesters are
related to staff punctuality, cus-
tomer service and inter-depart-
Despite the judiciary s assur-
ances, staff sources said that their
protest would continue for the
rest of the week and would only
cease when the Clerk of the Peace,
the senior administrative officer,
was transfered to another court.
"Everyone complaining about
that lady. Staff, police and the
public can t deal with her. She
has to go," a protesting worker,
who wished to remain unidenti-
fied said in a interview yesterday.
A judicial source said the action
seemed to be well co-ordinated
as prisoners, who were scheduled
to reappear at the courthouse for
the continuation of their cases,
were not brought from prison,
The source said that the "crisis"
led Chief Magistrate Marcia
Ayers-Caesar to call an emergency
meeting with her fellow magis-
trates yesterday morning.
Among the contingency plans
implemented by Ayers-Caesar to
minimise the effect of the protest
was a request for a temporary
cashier from the Port-of-Spain
High Court to facilitate customers
who came to the court to pay
traffic tickets and for liquor
In the release, the judiciary said
Ayers-Caesar wished to thank the
small group of staff who did show
up for duty yesterday.
"She expressed her deepest
appreciation to those staff mem-
bers who responded to the situ-
ation today by undertaking tasks
to minimise inconvenience to cus-
tomers," the release said.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, February 5, 2013
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The fires at the Beetham land-
fill, which blanked areas of Port-
of-Spain and areas of west
Trinidad with toxic smog for
most of last week, have all been
The announcement was made
in a press release issued yesterday
by the Solid Waste Management
Company Limited (SWMCOL), the
state-run agency which operates
"The public is advised that the
landfill at Beetham has now been
fully reopened and is operating at
one hundred per cent," SWMCOL
The company said security at
the facility had been increased to
prevent incidents such as last
week s fires from recurring.
SWMCOL thanked its employ-
ees and its contractors for assisting
in containing and extinguishing
the fires and acknowledged the
"support and understanding" it
received from members of the
"Their quick action and hard
work ensured that the extent of
this disaster was greatly amelio-
rated," the release said.
Meanwhile, the Environmental
Management Authority (EMA) is
investigating a small oil spill in
Guaracara River, Pointe-a-Pierre.
The agency revealed that the
five-barrel oil spill, which has been
linked to state-owned oil company
Petrotrin, was reported yesterday,
with a crew from its Compliance
and Enforcement Unit being
immediately dispatched to inves-
"Preliminary investigators con-
firmed that the river was impacted
by a vacuum residue and the team
observed that the impact did not
extend to the mouth of the river
nor did it enter nearby coastal
waters," a release from the EMA
The release said the source of
the spill was a line from Petrotrin s
refinery and EMA was monitoring
the situation and the efficency of
the company s clean-up of the
Beetham landfill back to normal
Staff boycott shuts down city court
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