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CTL fires engineering staff, prepares for battle with union

Published:Monday | August 22, 2016 | 12:00 AMJovan Johnson

The management of the soon-to-be divested Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) has said it is gearing up for a fight with a trade union at the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT) over the dismissal of 16 workers from the engineering department.

The dismissal of the workers yesterday is the latest in a series of industrial relations disputes between the government entity and the Union of Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Personnel (UTASP).

"The management of Caymanas Track has lost confidence in the staff," Shane Dalling, CTL's managing director, told The Gleaner yesterday.

"The engineering staff," he said, "was terminated today (Monday) in accordance with their contracts. They were paid salaries in lieu of notice and the union was properly advised today in a discussion we had with them before the letters were issued."

The dismissal comes just over a week after workers from the engineering department took strike action, forcing the cancellation of the raceday on Saturday, August 13.

Dalling said the management later asked the workers to stay off the job with full pay, a move which angered UTASP.


Not fired for files


However, the managing director said the decision to fire the workers had nothing to do with files allegedly missing from the computer systems in the department, a situation he described as "sabotage".

"The persons in charge of the system informed us that the files were missing. The police were called in and the police also gave a preliminary report that the files were indeed missing. It is curious to say that no file was missing, as the police are actually still using forensic experts to find the file," he said in reaction to conflicting reports there's no missing file.

"[But] we didn't state that as a part of the reason," Dalling added.

Dalling said a meeting was expected between the parties at the labour ministry on Friday.

According to him, the matter could go the IDT, but he argued that management was sticking with its decision.

Telephone calls to UTASP General Secretary St Patrice Ennis went unanswered while the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions said it could not immediately comment on the situation.

In March, Supreme Ventures Limited was named as the preferred bidder in the Government's efforts to privatise the entity that last year recorded losses amounting to J$22 million.