The alleged victimisation of union leaders in schools is expected to top the agenda of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations’ midterm delegates’ conference next week, General secretary Dennis de Peiza has disclosed.
Suggesting that some labour representatives were being “terrorized”, he said the trade unions were particularly concerned with a breach of workers’ rights. He also claimed that CTUSAB representatives were finding difficulty in acquiring seats on the boards of management at some public secondary schools.
De Peiza, who charged there were some who were not respecting the work of trade unions, said those issues would be addressed at the conference.
He said: “We don’t want to see the number of acts that we are seeing perpetrated against labour continue.
“Something that is seeming to evolve as we speak within the context of how the island, regardless of if it is Government or [state-owned enterprises], are treating to labour.
“We have had information drawn to our attention that when some of the labour leaders are attending meetings and conferences, or performing their duties as labour leaders, [they] are being questioned by management of their departments to give an account as to where they are and why they are there.
“These persons are well aware that the individuals are serving at the highest level and representing the interest of workers and in my language, they are being terrorized although they might give notice of where they are.”
He also alleged that representatives who were chosen by CTUSAB to serve on the boards at some schools were being harassed.
De Peiza said: “We are learning that the boards of management at our schools, persons who are nominated to serve on the boards by our congress are being questioned as to whether those persons have the right to accept the vote as a member of the board.
“Their rights are being questioned by persons serving on the board so this is something that we have to have corrected.”
The president also revealed that at the conference, CTUSAB would be presenting for the first time a Code of Practice for people with disabilities.
Former Chief Labour Officer Vincent Burnett and Minister of Labour Colin Jordan are among the featured speakers at next Thursday’s conference.