DEF still alarmed by WAWU branding employers as ‘exploiters’

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.”

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  1. Frank Talker
    May 25, 2018

    If Augustus is unable to provide the law he supposedly quoted, he should recall his statement and apologise to the employers of Dominica who he slandered.

  2. zandoli
    May 24, 2018

    Any law that would force employers to re-instate employees within 6 weeks of being laid off for any reason would serve to bankrupt companies. If the employer’s business is not doing well and they need to trim staff, that may be one of the few remedies available for them to stay in business. Furthermore, it makes no sense to have more employees than what is needed to effectively run a company. That is a recipe for disaster. The government of Dominica may be able to have people who sit around watching the clock. Private businesses will not stay in business for very long if they are carrying staff in excess of their requirements.

  3. Frank Talker
    May 23, 2018

    I will stand on the side of Joseph because, in my opinion and belief, he always comes out correct. Joseph would never pose a challenge on national media if he was not absolutely sure his take on the matter was correct. Actually, I took a quick read of Section 24 of the law and it does not set any limit on the duration of lay-off.

  4. Toto
    May 23, 2018

    Let’s just say that is a matter of opinion and everybody free to express their opinion. If Achile Joseph thinks that the union slandered his organisation he is free to sue them for a retraction and damages. If not, best be quiet and both sides work on improving relations between themselves.

    • Mr. T
      May 23, 2018

      its not that simple though Toto. By making such statements WAWU is effectively saying that DEF executive Director and by extension the association are not really interested in the plight of workers in dominican worker. An as an agent lobbying for change he needs to reply to this.

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