Twenty-two employees have been made redundant by telecommunications company, FLOW Dominica.
Sixteen employees who were transferred from Marpin 2K4 Limited to FLOW Dominica will be made redundant effective February 28, 2019.
Secretary Treasurer of the Waterfront and Allied Workers Union, Kertiste Augustus, says FLOW informed the union of its intentions where a list of workers was presented to them to be analysed.
“Flow bought off Marpin in May 2017. Hurricane Maria destroyed the plant and equipment in September 2017. In December 2018, the management informed the union of its intention to reduce its staff complement,” Augustus said.
He added, “By December 19th the company officially sent us a letter detailing the reasons for the redundancies or the proposed reductions in the staff complement and submitted us with a list of workers which straddled all categories including managerial staff and as is normal, we would look at that list and the whole question of seniority of service , because if you have two or three persons performing the same job, then you would have to look at the one who is the most senior to be retained as opposed to the others,”
He said the situation could change in the case where a junior employee may be more skillful and adaptable to the operations of FLOW, “then that would have to be discussed.”
Augustus also stated that FLOW submitted individual letters to employees indicating their statuses and an amount of compensation, but does not include their monthly salary.
“It doesn’t state what the monthly salary was and we, from the Waterfront and Allied Workers Union, will scrutinize every single level to determine the correctness of the computation. Every employee that will be issued with their letters, a copy will be sent to the union.”
Augustus said the union will continue to monitor the situation and hopes to be in a position to advise their members and to further discuss with the management of FLOW if necessary.
Meantime, General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union Thomas Letang says the Union was informed that six of the employees that FLOW represented will also be discharged.
“I got a letter indicating to me that management is requesting an audience with me to discuss redundancy,” he said.
“We have since written to management and saying that while we are willing to meet, we have a few matters and that will include people that have the retail shop and also the technicians where management had refused to treat them as part of the bargaining unit but we met with the Labour Commissioner, a decision was taken that these people should be recognised as part of the bargaining unit.”
Letang is calling on FLOW to settle this matter as quickly as possible because retroactive pay is due to the workers, among other benefits, and only then, will discussions will be had with persons losing their jobs.