Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations Colin Jordan has refused to weigh in on the sackings of three employees of the National Housing Corporation (NHC), as well as reports of an impending shake up at the state-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
NHC General Manager Lanette Napolean-Young was sacked this week, along with Human Resource Manager Sheona Kellman and attorney Toni Jones-Patterson.
There has been no official comment on, or justification for, the sackings, save for confirmation of the Barbados TODAY story published on Monday, June 25, by Douglas Skeete, the chairman of the board of the state housing agency.
Even amid charges of victimization and a political witch-hunt coming from some quarters, coupled with the Barbados Labour Party Government’s pledge of full transparency, Jordan this morning remained mum on the issue.
“I am not responding to that. This Government is focused on the mandate given by the people. So today we are talking about information on the labour market to make sure that in the future we have the requisite skills to assist us in building the economy. So that is the focus today. I know the media likes juicy stories but I am not talking about that,” Jordan told Barbados TODAY after delivering the feature address at the Warrens complex, where his ministry released the findings of the just concluded Employers’ Survey.
Former Minister of Housing Denis Kellman was accused of nepotism after his namesake was hired as the human resources manager back in August 2016, much to the chagrin of workers and their representative, the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW).
The appointment of an outsider over Paula Blackman, who had acted in the position for more than a year, triggered a walkout by scores of NHC workers. But Kellman maintained at the time that the similarity in the last names was merely a coincidence and that Sheona Kellman was the best person for the job.
Barbados TODAY contacted NUPW President Akanni Mc Dowall this afternoon, who said he did not have enough information to comment on the development.
Napoleon-Young was appointed under the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration that was ousted in the May 24 general election.
Meanwhile, there have been reports that CBC General Manager Doug Hoyte, who was also appointed under the DLP in April 2016, has been stripped of legal and financial responsibility related to the statutory corporation.
In addition, all freelancers and contract workers have been told that they would be terminated by the end of the month, while other contracts close to expiration will not be renewed.