PWC to axe 20 workers; court injunction possible

PWC workers on Wednesday morning
PWC workers on Wednesday morning

Twenty workers from the Public Works Corporation (PWC) will soon be given their walking papers, General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang has revealed.

“I got a letter yesterday signed by the General Manager saying that a total of twenty employees effective Friday, June 19th 2015 will be laid off,” Letang said at a press conference held on the site of the PWC earlier on Wednesday. “We have absolutely no information as to what those positions are and who are the people who are going to be affected.”

According to Letang, the PSU is looking at filing an injunction in court to prevent the layoffs.

“We are looking at all other options and one of the things we have decided to do is, well I have an appointment with a lawyer tomorrow to see whether we can place an injunction in that layoff,” he said. “Because we do not believe it is right, you are sending people home while you are owing social security contributions on their behalf.”

He stated further that the union is also looking at the possibility of taking the PWC  to court for not paying the worker’s social security contribution.

“In other words we are ready to sue that Corporation and then we have this meeting tomorrow and following the meeting and the advice that will be given we will decide how we move from there,” he stated.

Letang made it clear that the union is not prepared to back down on the matter.

“The Union is not prepared to back off and we will go to the end of it,” he noted. “If they want to send everybody home, since that was their intention, let them do that, but we are not going to back out.”

He revealed also that the union has strong objection to the non-payments of some of the employees and has called on the PWC board to resign.

“We have strong objection to you paying some people who were on strike, who were protesting, paying some people who were protesting and not paying others. That is discrimination and that is victimization,” he stated. “My whole position is the board is spineless, ineffective and the board should resign.”

Letang further revealed that the protest action by workers will continue.

“We are protesting as we used to protest and anything that we were accustom of doing, we will continue doing it,” he explained. “We are looking at other options and that is one of the things we are looking at, and you can see that the employees as well as myself we are dressed in black and that is to show our solidarity…our struggles will continue and we will continue to strive till the end.”

Meantime Chairman of the PWC Board, Titus Francis said Letang can file the injunction if he has legal grounds to do so.

“I mean that is his right to speak and it is his right to file an injunction if he figures that he has sufficient grounds, legal grounds, justified grounds to file an injunction,” Francis said. “That is his right because he can speak as he feels that the board is incompetent and to ask for the resignation of the board. I mean I will not comment on that any further, but what Mr. Letang is supposed to tell you that just as the employees have rights and responsibilities, the employer also has rights and responsibilities.”

Francis explained that one of the responsibilities of the employer is to ensure that he structures his operations or business in such a way that, “it provides for efficiency and productivity and effective functioning…”

He added that if the Corporation, as the employer, is convinced, and can show that the number of people on the payroll now cannot be sustained due to the unavailability of work, then the employer has that right to layoff.

Additionally, he said, Letang is the representative of the employees so, “he has to represent them, but he just have to represent them in the correct way.”

PWC workers have been protesting for weeks now and on Wednesday morning there was a heavy police presence at the Corporation’s compound in Goodwill.

The protest was deemed illegal by the authorities.

See scenes at PWC compound on Wednesday.

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31 Comments

  1. boom
    June 23, 2015

    this man forget where he came from.skerrit you come from the dirt like we the poor people of this Dominica and you must never forget that.because you have money now you forget where you come from.but dont worry there come’s a time ever thing have to come to and end.live life enjoy life do the poor people of dominica wickedness make them beg.but their cries and hunger is on you.you is the P.M of dominica give the young people work to do.and stop going round begging begging.

  2. cool
    June 23, 2015

    I am not filling sorry for you guys.you all had been worn about that skerrit man this man dont care about know body but him self.I vote him in the pass.but i saw right though him. why cant you guys see the light he like people to beg him the same way he going all about and beg is so he want people to beg him like a woman that love begging man money.he living sweet eating and drinking nice where’s is what all of all you that vote him eating and drinking? tell me that good for all you take it and dont cry i am just filling a little sorry for the children but not them big men and woman that know what they were doing.when i really think of it get the hell off my face.skerrit KA TWAVAY.go hang all you bag where all you buy all you coal.

  3. Ron
    June 11, 2015

    ..When you send them home what they going to do.. how they going to feed their families.. instead them man create jobs for people, they sending people at their homes.. Magwe sa.

  4. June 10, 2015

    I believe that we the people of Dominica need to go on a massive country wide peaceful protest and demand the resignation of Mr. Skerrit and his entire cabinet. It is about time that we tell Mr. Skerrit that we are tired of his incompetence and malfeasance and he MUST step down. Enough is Enough.

  5. Sensible
    June 10, 2015

    Tell Tobeh labor working well

  6. Stand up
    June 10, 2015

    Dominicans must never forget, always remember that the land where PWC has operated from has been given FREE or leased, or sold to the Chinese. Land taken from hard working Dominicans. No information. In the dark. Total disrespect.

    Skerritt,, accompanied by the Cabinet Sect, and Chairman of the AID bank, traveled to China recently. Skerritt,, as revealed,, signed a loan of US$300 million with a private Chinese business firm. They told us part of that money is for Chinese businessmen to build their hotel in PWC area. Never forget, my people.

    Remember, the Chinese Gov’t washed their hands re. that deal? The Chinese Ambassador in DA publicly said his Gov’t has nothing to do with that deal. US$300 million loan from private, Chinese financiers, not Chinese Gov’t? MAFIA dealings? DA sold Big Time. What about other secret deals we don’t know about?

    Today, the DA Police really protecting the Chinese people land? PWC going, workers have been evacuated…

  7. Doc. Love
    June 10, 2015

    Perfect act of retaliation, perfect act of mash up the union, perfect act of who is the boss. :mrgreen:

  8. June 10, 2015

    All dominica gov’t workers should strike in solidarity with these workers untill they get back there job…
    if there is no solidarity with these workers in the near future no gov’t employee will be able to stand up for their right…good luck..

  9. neverson St jean
    June 10, 2015

    When the pm employed Ambrose George and company, the reason was they have to eat. So i guess public works workers dont have mouths

  10. Shameless
    June 10, 2015

    IF I was Mr. Letang I would call all Public/ Civil Servants to a meeting outside the ARAWAK House of culture on Kennedy Avenue tomorrow in support of the good folks at PWC. Leave the PWC guys at PWC and ALL others in the Roseau environs at Kennedy Avenue. At the same time, IF I was Lennox I would rally Wesley and Marigot folks to the Douglas-Charles Airport road intersection in support of PWC and to discuss the corruption going on.

    And IF I was Spaggs at the same time I would call all BAWI people to the EOL-Salisbury highway area and demand the treatment so needed by those tear-gassed by the SSU during the legitimate Salisbury protest.

    Enough IS Enough!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

    Assertive, NOT Aggressive! :twisted: :twisted:

  11. June 10, 2015

    P.w.c is a company engaged in construction,and can only employ workers when they have a contracted project.having workers reporting to the compound of the company for two weeks not working just created the opportunity for the employer to lay off some of the workers,and letange as a trade unionist should have realized that a d asked the workers to report back to work once the outstanding payments and social security issues matters had been resolved.he kept shifting the bar and bring other demands into the struggle once you do that in any struggle you lost the moral authority you posses.i hope in the future once the p.w c have contracted employment they will be rehired by the p.w.c.they have been misled by their leaders.

  12. CommentingToo
    June 10, 2015

    So what really caused it to get to this. It is time we stop beating around the bush and look a the root of the problem. And most times, it is better to remain silent than to try to justify things that one is not even well informed about.

  13. KID ON THE BLOCK
    June 10, 2015

    Pay them what you owe them and lay-off their A…. Let Francisco employ them!

    • %
      June 10, 2015

      @kid on the block Your idiotic comment shows how shallow you are. I am in total solidarity with the workers and the union leader.

  14. DollFace
    June 10, 2015

    Let me guess: the twenty PWC staff Govt want to lay off is UWP supporters.

    Can you say VICTIMIZATION???

    • Francisco Telemaque
      June 10, 2015

      The could not be supports of the UWP; since such people are not employed by the government: They are victimizing the very people who supports labor!

  15. Francisco Telemaque
    June 10, 2015

    Let’s see: Thirty million plus dollars was spent to votes; five hundred thousand dollars was given to the boy bishop, to install a roof on a building belonging to the richest religious cult in the world!

    However, the workers at public works has been working for months without receiving a single Dominica rusty penny; and now we are learning that twenty hungry people are going to be sent home. Now it seems to me that thirty ($30, 000,000.00 + $500,000.00) million plus five hundred thousand dollars must equal thirty million, five hundred thousand dollars.

    I wonder how many years that amount of money wasted could have lasted to pay the unfortunate workers slated to be fired? How many government ministers do we have? Dominica can be run with less than five government ministers, yet we have more than any island in the Caribbean.

    No justice for the works; there should be no peace to Skerrit administration! We need to riot!

    • Positive vibes
      June 11, 2015

      Riot? That’s the best solution you can come up with? You ever heard of the saying “shouting fire in a crowded theater”? That is what you’re doing with your riot suggestion and the authorities should seek you out and hold you accountable for the riot comment.

      • Dominican
        June 11, 2015

        Authorities cannot seek him out because he does not reside in DA. There are many like him calling for riot in DA but they will not be part of it. Evil beings!

  16. Bull Crap
    June 10, 2015

    So what about the 700,000 dollars that they did not pay Social Security for those same workers they wanna lay off and yet am sure was taking from their Salaries every pay day. You wanna lay off people with you hypocritical talk about “it provides for efficiency and productivity and effective functioning…”

    But yet you seem to last that concept when you were not paying these same employees Social Security dues and the PWC infrastructures..Now you all wanna cam talk about responsibilities…only because you wanna send i guess then people that standing for their rights home.

  17. amy
    June 10, 2015

    why don’t you lay off someone in skerrit administration,like blackmore, his salary is big enough to pay more than the twenty pwc workers, why are you punishing the workers for going on strike,thats just plain evil.

  18. zandoli
    June 10, 2015

    In as much as I do not like to see people lose their job, I think this move was inevitable. You cannot have people on staff if you have no work to provide them. Worse yet, you are bleeding money, cannot afford to pay the staff and you are carrying all this extra weight which you cannot afford.

    I think that is a good move that will hopefully see the corporation on a better financial footing for the future.

    • CommentingToo
      June 10, 2015

      So what really caused it to get to this. It is time we stop beating around the bush and look a the root of the problem. And most times, it is better to remain silent than to try to justify things that one is not even well informed about.

      • zandoli
        June 10, 2015

        Just to you know, PWC does not have a constitutional right to exist. It is a business like any other and ought to be operated as any private corporation.

        They need to compete for business like every other private company. You would not run your business like PWC.

      • 19794eva
        June 10, 2015

        you cold blooded lizard..if so why not pay off the inherited debt from the ministry of PW and pay them monies owed so they can invest in the infrastructure and equipment needed to be competitive?? stop your misdirection…

    • mandate 2 mismanage
      June 10, 2015

      Ummm…wouldn’t the “good” move been to lay them off BEFORE you realize you couldn’t pay them or thier benefits. Its not like this suddenly happen, since last year they have been complaining for their pay….but I guess they couldn’t be laid off right before an election?

      I wouldn’t leave PWC without getting my pay and benefits IN KIND if not cash!

  19. Anansi
    June 10, 2015

    Pure Bull!! A violation of workplace contract rules. This sets precedence for the termination of any government employee/s who embark on a strike. Dominica, take back what’s yours…a right to a fair workplace free of employer harassment for a fair wage!

  20. vier pat
    June 10, 2015

    Labour ka twavie

  21. grell
    June 10, 2015

    Labour @their best you all can go to the red clinic,when Skerrit finish with you all not even clothes will be on your backs,the supreme leader has come down hard.

  22. Joan
    June 10, 2015

    This is just the beginning of things to come. Skerrit and his administration does not want the people having a voice, opinions or any thought provocations, therefore, to teach a lesson, persons are dismissed from their jobs. Mark my words, soon Dominicans will have to ask permission to travel abroad just. Something is happening in this country which looks dismal.

  23. Me
    June 10, 2015

    LABOUR KA TWAVAY!!!!!!

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