Joseph (left) Augustus

The Dominica Employer’s Federation (DEF) has said that it remains alarmed by the Waterfront and Allied Workers Union (WAWU) branding of employers as exploiters after Hurricane Maria.

WAWU’s Secretary-Treasurer said at a May Day rally that following Hurricane Maria some prominent employers have been exploiting workers.

“There appears to be a posture of exploitation of redundancy by some prominent employers in Dominica. The provisions of the law have been set aside in one case, for whereas the law provides for six weeks lay off, that employer has issued to his staff six months notice of lay off,” he had said.

But the DEF said WAWU is seeking to mislead workers and has challenged the union to make the law available.

Executive Director of the DEF, Achille Joseph said he does not know of the existence of such law.

“I will go further to say that no such law exists in the Commonwealth of Dominica, and any attempt to make the text of the law say so is clearly a misreading of the construction and intent of the law,” Joseph said. “There is no statutory upper limit on the duration of layoff since it is a relief available to employers when their businesses are faced with operational and structural frustration, and only the employer can determine the period of absence.”

Joseph is again challenging Augustus to present the law stating that lay off cannot exceed six weeks, “and that an employer who laid-off an employee for a period greater than six weeks is setting aside the law.”

“Section 24 of the Protection of Employment Act does not say so,” he said. “No such law exists in Dominica.”