The resumption of the Employment Rights Tribunal hearing of the National Conservation Commission (NCC) workers’ retrenchment case has been delayed by one more day.
The hearing, which has been stalled for over two months, was scheduled to resume today at the auditorium of the Labour Department, Warrens Office Complex.
However, tribunal chairman Hal Gollop, QC, advised the commissioners and those present that it had to be delayed further due to the fact that one of the lawyers had asked for an adjournment because he was indisposed. Barbados TODAY later discovered the lawyer to be NCC management’s attorney Mitch Codrington.
Gollop announced that the hearing would now recommence tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the same venue.
He was at pains to point out that the lengthy delays were all the fault of the attorneys on both sides and the tribunal was at no time to blame.
He rejected statements by “misinformed persons” who accused the tribunal of stalling and holding up the proceedings.
Present and ready to resume his testimony was retired General Secretary of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Dennis Clarke, who was on the stand when the hearing was adjourned in October. Also present today was Tamara Simmons, the legal council working with Pat Cheltenham, QC, who represents the retrenched NCC employees.
On the sidelines of today’s proceedings, Gollop told reporters he had asked the various attorneys to address three key issues: consultation, the last-in-first-out policy and retrenchment. He said these three critical areas would determine the outcome of the hearing.
Gollop made it clear that the ruling on this case would be carefully written since it would serve as a precedent for similar matters at statutory boards. (EJ)