Tropical Storm Chantal has claimed her first known “victim” in Barbados.
He is Carlos Cox, who was fired for not reporting for duty on the day authorities shut down the country as Chantal passed north of the island.
Not only is the husband and father of two boys now on the “breadline”, there is unlikely to be any recourse, in that the new Employment Rights Act does not protect him, because he was on probation and had worked with the business, Woodbourne Boarding and Rescue Kennels, in St. Philip, for less than one year.
“The country was shut down and I had my family to look after. My boys were not well. Besides, I live in Rendezvous, Christ Church and the work place is in St. Philip,” Cox pointed out.
“There is no bus running directly there, and in any case, the Transport Board buses were not running (service resumed at 2 p.m.). Even after the all-clear, we were told not to leave home.”
He argued too, that his working hours were 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and even after the all-clear at around 11 a.m., Transport Board buses did not come back on line for almost three hours.
“A message (from Manager Dorine Boyce) was left on my phone. It said: ‘It’s not going to work. We need reliable people’. I called back and asked, ‘What do you mean reliable?'” reported the Christ Church resident. “‘What other complaints do you have about me. I ever was late?’ She said no,” Cox told Barbados TODAY. “She lives on site; she doesn’t have to walk anywhere.”
Cox said his duties at Woodbourne Boarding and Rescue Kennels included feeding the dogs and cleaning the kennels.
Manager Dorine Boyce admitted that she had fired Cox “because he never informed me he was not coming out”.
“One of the things we said is that you have to be reliable. When the all-clear was given at 11 a.m., I still did not hear from him. I had to call him at around 4 o’clock,” stated Boyce.
Asked if it mattered that the man had a family to look after during a risky period, the manager replied: “So what are we to do? What we supposed to do with the animals? You are making a mountain out of a molehill. Make what you want of it. I’m sorry.”