NUPW cries down same-day dismissals
“Extremely shabby, shameful and disgraceful!”
These were the strong words National Union of Public Workers’ General Secretary Dennis Clarke used to describe Tuesday’s dismissal of hundreds of employees from the Ministry of Environment’s Drainage Unit.
“You have not given them any written notice, but you expect them to accept that the letter that they had that said their contract would come to an end the 31st of December would have been the end all and be all…You have workers that when the fixed term contract comes to an end, you don’t say to them ‘go home’ but they come back to work the next day and sometime after they receive a letter that would go back from the first of January, putting them on another fixed term contract. These workers were not given such a letter but were told verbally that their terms of service has come to an end. It is totally unacceptable what has happened to these workers,” he contended.
He outlined that several persons who were on vacation leave have also had their services terminated, while others had not received vacation or vacation pay and stressed that these matters needed to be reconciled.
Speaking to the media yesterday afternoon at the Dalkeith headquarters after a meeting with scores of the displaced workers, Clarke said that the NUPW would be seeking an urgent meeting with the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage and the Ministry of Civil Service.
He outlined that the union now has its work cut out for it, expressing his hopes that the example set in the handling of this dismissal, did not occur with the other layoffs planned for other public sector departments as government moves to cut the public service by 3 000 workers.
A fiery Clarke highlighted that what made the situation even sadder was the fact that many of the employees had even expressed their willingness to work without pay every other week, indicating their desire to work mixed with their need to pay their bills.