Pay your staff – Labour Commissioner to employers

Labour Commissioner Matthew Leblanc
Labour Commissioner Matthew Leblanc

Labour Commissioner Mathew Leblanc has described some employers as “renegades”, who renege on paying their workers and made it fundamentally clear that this has to stop.

Leblanc was a guest on DBS Radio’s “Talking Point” this week.

“I am saying this loud for all these stubborn renegade employers who are doing this to stop it. If you cannot pay the people, make it clear to them. You cannot do this to poor people who have their children to send to school and their bills to pay. If you employ them, they deliver, you should not find it hard to pay them from the profit you made,” he said.

He said the Labour Division has been having discussions with several employers about these issues.

“We advise them that they cannot remain in business if they are unable to pay staff. We don’t want anybody to be out of job. We don’t want any camouflage slavery or abuse of people’s liberty. If you get the service you need, provide the pay,” he warned.

Meanwhile, Leblanc has given Dominica’s industrial climate good ratings.

He said despite what the world has described as a global credit crunch and whiles several countries are cutting back their labour force, Dominica seems to be doing well.

 “Considering the hardship that we are enduring now with the contraction of the world economy, we have been able to survive. You hear on the air of all the redundancies being made and people losing their job and this is a sad thing. For us labour officers this is a major injury,” he said.

He gave kudos to some of the trade unions in Dominica for what he says has been a period of efficient negotiation to keep workers on the job.

“Our trade unions have had a different approach. We can’t always be confrontational. There were times when that was effective and now I think engaging in efficient negotiation is important. A trade union’s strength is in its membership…” he said.

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34 Comments

  1. former
    May 19, 2014

    Yea n the bosses that hiring young girls n taking advantage of them.. The bosses that taking workers to work in other countries n not giving them their allowance. N the bosses that dont want to pay you double for your holidays n working on sundays,…

  2. watch
    May 18, 2014

    workers not getting paid for Public Holidays .

  3. yes
    May 18, 2014

    After working for over 20 years at an institution and resigning and receiving nothing is a shame.

  4. them
    May 18, 2014

    Some employers have there own rules
    1. you have to work for 15 years for you to get 1 month leave.
    2. you have to give 2 months notice before you can resign from the job.

    who is checking that and seeing if the employers follow the rules of the state

  5. sis m
    May 18, 2014

    In the book of proverbs. HE that oppresseth the poor to gain riches will surely come to eant

  6. May 17, 2014

    There are some employers that will not even keep a staff meeting with their employees. All they do is get the gossip from some employees to victimize their workers. If you treat your workers right, they will have a deep appreciation for work. Some of them, the more money they have, is the more they victimize workers. They will run gas station on gas stations, spare parts on spare parts, but the monies they do not want to pay their workers, they will one day leave it for someone they wont even know. As the Labour CEO say, treat your workers right.

  7. da woman
    May 17, 2014

    What about public works coperation tell them to pay staff social security allowance etc. Thank you for speaking pls continue to speak sir

  8. angel
    May 17, 2014

    Please direct this advice to the Government who are notorious for making people wait for their salaries. Also to Social Security who seem to take personal pleasure in shafting the people of Dominica and not paying what is due on time.

  9. May 17, 2014

    Leblanc do not get a heart attack…..do what yyou have to do ……TIME FOR CHANGE

  10. Simply the Truth
    May 16, 2014

    Labour Commissioner I realize you have your job obligation to fulfill. However, is there any way you could have arranged a meeting be it a short one with those employers and discuss this issue with them privately rather than broadcasting it over the radio? If you did not do so previously, this is what you should have done. Or you could write a letter to them reminding them of their obligation as employers to pay their staff. If all else fails, a radio broadcast should be your last resort.
    We do know if employers do not meet their obligation to employers, they could be sued. I hope those employers will commence paying their staff.

    • love
      May 19, 2014

      Didn’t you read the article, he did had a discussion with employers. please read!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Simply the Truth
    May 16, 2014

    Honesty is usually the best policy. Everyone is experiencing some sort of hardship. We will all agree that times are tough and business is not always what it could be.
    Employees have obligations to meet. They cannot afford to work for nothing.
    There are ways of handling this situation. Rather than have them work all day and not pay them, it would be better to be honest with their employees and inform them of their difficulty in paying them without entering into any personal discussion why they are not able to pay them at this time.
    How could employers feel comfortable doing this to their employees? Those employees will not be happy about it even though they keep reporting for work in the hope the situation will be rectified.
    They need money to as much as travel to and from work. They also must have meals for the day. How could they pay for those necessities if they are not paid for their labour?
    Or the employers could inform them due to lack of funds they have no alternative but to lay them off be it temporarily until business picks up.
    Show your appreciation for their conscientious work. They are working for nothing. Remaining on the job could hinder them from seeking other employment if they so wish.
    The employers could make arrangements with their financial institution to borrow money to pay their staff. If they are unable to pay them, then lay them off with the premise of paying them as soon as possible and stand by your word.
    Also keep in touch with them be it on a weekly basis. Do not let them keep calling you for their pay. Consider if they do, they may be annoyed which will surely annoy you. It is simple. Make arrangements to pay them as soon as possible and honor it.

  12. Tall is her body
    May 16, 2014

    Also it goes for employers who removes salary deductions to hire purchase companies, and social-security and refuses to remit the monies to the appropriate institutions.

  13. willis dew
    May 16, 2014

    very well said sir cuz come employers don’t wana pay fa public hollidays just like DIPCON ENGINEERING DOMINICA they do dat to the staff dat works by the hour. Please mr labour commissioner.

  14. Justified
    May 16, 2014

    very well said sir, Congratulations again. At least there are still some persons who has the moral and courage to say things as they are. all those who always looking to cry you down and make people believe otherwise about have nothing to say on this. one day our people will learn to appreciate the good among them when its too late. keep running all u mouth about brain drain still.

  15. Eh Beh
    May 16, 2014

    Dominica seems to be doing well because, Skerro paying salaries for over 300+ people. What about those that got fired because of the NEP?

    • Rachael Ray
      May 16, 2014

      One day Skerrit’s money well will run dry, you cannot be giving people free money for long. As they say freeness is worryness. Be warned!!!!

  16. OK?
    May 16, 2014

    But government workers salaries does also be late…

  17. Sick & Tired
    May 16, 2014

    Labour Commissioner Mathew Leblanc “I am saying this loud for all these stubborn renegade employers who are doing this to stop it. If you cannot pay the people, make it clear to them. You cannot do this to poor people who have their children to send to school and their bills to pay. If you employ them, they deliver you should not find it hard to pay them from the profit you made,” he said. Why do you have to go on Talk Show to get your message across can you not enforce the laws from the confines of your office and with the stroke of a pen? I can only imagine the shit that goes on in Dominica these days with all these idiot speeches and I am hearing and reading about by all concern (Government Ministers, Government Officials, political parties, etc). Are you folks really serious about anything in Dominica anymore?

    • Simply the Truth
      May 16, 2014

      Wherever you reside, if you are residing in a so-called progressive country, this crap occurs. The stories are many. When staff are not paid, they file a complaint with the Labour Commissioner’s office. They must fill out a form. Once received, it may take a few months to commence this proceeding since thousands, if not millions of people are affected and the offices also deal with various complaints.
      Some owners go bankrupt and close their doors even without informing staff who may report to work only to find the doors locked and they are locked out with no pay. So a lot of this occurs in Canada, U.S. and Europe. This includes unfairly firing staff and discriminating against them. As I always state, every country has its share.
      It is not surprising and shocking to me if it happens elsewhere as in Dominica. If you are an employee and you also listen to and read the news you will know about it. All of us have relatives and friends who have been affected at some time as we also hear of other people who are experiencing the same.
      On a compassionate side, I feel that the D/can employers are also embarrassed that they are not able to pay their staff. They are hurting too that they are not able to pay them. Yet, employees expect honest payment, on time, for honest work.
      I still state it is a tough world. Times are not what it was in previous years. I wish those employers progress and success in business and that they will be able to pay their employees. They need their employees and their employees need them. Work for pay and vice versa.

    • angel
      May 17, 2014

      In answer to your final question: No, they are not serious about anything anymore (except of course, the usual $$$)

  18. grell
    May 16, 2014

    what is new is dominica the so callesd bushwas use the poor peop[le and government does nothing,in the USA THEY WOULD LOSE ALL AND GO TO JAIL,OUR POOR COUNTRY IS VERY UNFAIR TO THE POOR PEOPLE.

  19. Former L Officer
    May 16, 2014

    Well done Mr Leblanc. I am happy you put the employees in their place. Some officers are afraid to speak. Well done

    • Malgraysa
      May 16, 2014

      Surely you mean “employers” ??

    • May 16, 2014

      Former L Officer May 16, 2014===”Well done Mr Leblanc. I am happy you put the “employees” in their place

      I don’t think you wanted to say employees because they are the workers of the business, I believe you wanted to say “employers” for they are the ones who owns the business.

  20. Lets Talk
    May 16, 2014

    Commissioner the stock pile of cases of employees vs employers going on for 5yrs plus in the labour division is my greatest concern and not how well the country doing inlight of global crunch…..The adamant refusal of some business men to not pay employees who have won their matters against these employers for years and a still without a penny…Enforce and make these individuals pay…that is my concern. The limited number of panelist for tribunals and the unavailability of those you have at present…that is my concern….the contracts of these chairpersons not being renewed in a timely manner so as to not make employees feel like they a fighting the employers and the state in a cant win situation thats my concern….the Unions having to beg and plead for hearings to get resolutions on matters……

    Mr. Commissioner it is slavery to be terminated and have to wait for 5 yrs to hear you were wrongfully dismissed……Lets do better lets not frustrate the employees more than they are by crawling when your department should walking and in some areas running…AMEN

  21. Anonymous
    May 16, 2014

    dominican always
    mr leblanc i know you are clearly speaking about your administration because this government is the number one ”renegade” look how the truckers hAve suffered begged and pleaded to be pay for work done one the interior road so you all should lead by example then you can voice your concerns

  22. May 16, 2014

    Leblanc where were u when the Govt was not paying the truckers.

    • JoJo
      May 16, 2014

      I feel for the truckers but as far as I know they are not employed by Govt.

  23. New yorker
    May 16, 2014

    Is that a sign of the down tread of economic activity in Dominica? or is it that since the chinese business place are competing with local business that makes it impossible for the local business to make that kind of money to pay the locals who are employed?

    • Thunder
      May 16, 2014

      Them Chinese taking our money and sending it back to China, how you expect Employers to pay their workers when VAT mene taking all, goods and services too expensive and customs duties too high. All them Government Ministers looking fat and round, their business well set up and all you Dominicans want to put them back there again come next election to further press all you :mrgreen:

  24. combos
    May 16, 2014

    MR. Labour commissioner,
    How can you say that the employers are not paying the employees and turn around and say that our industrial climate is doing well? Are you saying that the employers are not paying because but they have the money? Is that the impression that you want to give the rest of the world.???? that employers have the money and they are not paying?????

    I believe that the employers are not paying because they dont have the money…. also they dont have the discipline to lay off the employees mostly because they feel for them to send them home in an economy like ours…..

    The industy is not doing well if considerable amount of businesses cannot pay their staff…. rethink this statement and come again…..

    I agree that they should tell the employees that they are not able to pay.. but i disagree that the industry is doing well….

    I await a proper industry report which will show the true state of the country

  25. Me self
    May 16, 2014

    Does that include the government; Public Works and cleaner subcontractor s labor party canal that are paying the cleaners

  26. JoJo
    May 16, 2014

    if you have people working for you and you don’t pay them, or even late , is the same as robbery. If you don’t have money to pay them , don’t employ them. We should have a tribunal for that for people to go to, free of charge.

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