Ambo says he will appeal despite his court victory

Ambo says he will appeal despite his court victory

Despite winning a four year court battle with his former employer,  the Dominica Air and Seaport Authority (DASPA),  Kenrick Ambo has said, “I will appeal the matter…I am not very satisfied. ”

Ambo took DASPA to court in 2010 for wrongful dismissal.

He began his employment with DASPA in 2005 as a Security Liaison Officer and at the end of 2006 he was detailed to work as shift supervisor.” In March 2008, in response to his request to DASPA management, Ambo was informed by letter that “he was exempt from secular employment during the period Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.” as this period coincides with his Sabbath. However, he was subsequently detailed to work on Saturday 2nd January 2010.He refused. Three weeks later, he was transferred to Port Portsmouth while resident in Roseau.  Ambo continued to refuse to work on his sabbath, despite being denied permission by his employer. He  was later detailed to work as an ordinary security officer instead of his substantive post of shift supervisor. He then wrote to management stating his objections to what he considered “an unlawful order.” In response, he was summoned in writing, to attend a disciplinary hearing for actions described as “insubordination and dereliction of duties.”

Ambo took the matter to court seeking aggravated damages, loss of salary, displacement of allowance and “other increments.”

In his 29 page ruling, handed down on Friday, Justice Errol Thomas stated in part that, “the multiple positions of the CEO ( Benoit Bardouille) in this matter is a manifest contradiction which offend against the letter and spirit of Article 23 of the agreement ( between the union and DASPA) by extension the rules of natural justice both at common law and section 8 (8) of the constitution.  The short point must be that there was no compliance with Article 23 of the agreement since the CEO was judge in his own case which cannot be nullified by the claimant’s waiver of non compliance with the other procedural requirements of Article 23 of the agreement.”

Section 8 (8) of the Dominica Constitution reads: “Any court or other authority prescribed by law for the determination of the existence or extent of any civil right or obligation, shall be established by law and shall be independent and impartial; and where proceedings for such a determination are instituted by any person before such a court or other authority, the case shall be given a fair hearing within a reasonable time.”

The CEO, Justice Thomas said, had no authority or power to order the claimant to perform the duties of an ordinary security officer without regard for his substantive post of shift supervisor and without the claimant being demoted in accordance with the agreement.

The Port Authority has been ordered to pay Ambo some $33,969 in damages.