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3 cases ready for LAT – Deputy Premier Kedrick D. Pickering

-Labour Arbitration Tribunal not a ‘free for all’, only Hon Pickering can refer matters
Chairman of the Labour Arbitration Tribunal Mr Paul B. Dennis QC at left and Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering (R7). Photo: VINO
Reporters who were present at the press conference yesterday November 11, 2014 were told that there are only three cases ready for LAT but several others being looked at. Photo: VINO
Reporters who were present at the press conference yesterday November 11, 2014 were told that there are only three cases ready for LAT but several others being looked at. Photo: VINO
Among those who were present to witness the introduction LAT were Janice I. F. Rymer, Labour Commissioner and Mr Ronald Smith-Berkeley Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour. Photo: VINO
Among those who were present to witness the introduction LAT were Janice I. F. Rymer, Labour Commissioner and Mr Ronald Smith-Berkeley Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – With the Labour Arbitration Tribunal (LAT) ready to face the long awaited task of presiding over labour issues Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering (R7) said that there are only three cases on his desk to be handed to the LAT chairman.

This was announced yesterday November 11, 2014 as LAT was officially launched at a simple and brief press conference which marked an historic moment for the Virgin Islands. The Labour Arbitration Tribunal has been long in the pipeline but has now come to reality with Mr Paul B. Dennis QC taking up the post as chairman for the initial period of two years.

Addressing reporters at yesterday’s event Hon Pickering said that while there are only three cases ready several other are in the pipeline being looked at.

It was also made abundantly clear at the meeting that Hon Pickering is the only one who has the authority to forward matters to the LAT and that the system is not a free for all.

“The general public cannot go to Tribunal, that is extremely important for the public to understand. There are two inspectors at Labour who do the first and formal investigation of a complaint. If they think there is a dispute it is referred to Labour Commissioner for resolution considering all the factors involved, if the Commissioner cannot resolve then it is referred to the minister” said Hon Pickering.

This was further re-enforced by the first time LAT Chairman Mr Paul B. Dennis QC when he said, “So the Tribunal will only deal with cases on the basis of referrals from the minister and that needs to be kept in mind, and clearly understood so that the public does not labour under the perception that the Tribunal is to hear initial complaints."

At the time of addressing reporters Mr Dennis had no knowledge as to the extent or nature of the three pending cases and was quite sure that there will be many matters that will reach LAT judging from the type of cases he has seen hitting the courts.

“In a general sense based on what I have been told I can perhaps confidentially say there are probably a significantly number of cases because they have been matters awaiting adjudication for some time," said Mr Dennis.

He further said, “...and what I envisage that will probably constitute perhaps the most significant bulk of referrals would be cases having to do with dismissals which an employee perceives to be either wrongful or unfair and so although there may be other categories of disputes I envisaged based partly on my own experience with the kinds of employment and labour related cases which we see coming before the courts are almost always those disputes have to do with issues of whether an employee has been lawfully dismissed.”

Having the LAT final up and ready to run, Hon Pickering said that it is a time that can be best described as a ‘Red Letter’ day for the Virgin Islands’ labour sector.

He said that there were many vexing problems raised during a series of Town Hall meetings which require urgent attention. These problems range from the inadequacy of the current minimum wage to unfair treatment of some employees by some employers. There were also issues raised from the employers’ perspective as well, such as the inappropriate use of sick days by employees; poor job performance, and behavioural issues.

11 Responses to “3 cases ready for LAT – Deputy Premier Kedrick D. Pickering”

  • show and tell (12/11/2014, 09:14) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is a waste ah time.
  • all this is (12/11/2014, 09:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    A new rubber stamp department created.
  • ... (12/11/2014, 09:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    and how dem say doc anit working eh?
  • ABC (12/11/2014, 09:56) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Nothing will happen
  • qc (12/11/2014, 10:37) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    You mean he could not find a local lawyer to head this board..NDP just love to marginalize the locals
    • JACK BE STILL (12/11/2014, 11:53) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
      they love expat and whites
    • Hmmm (12/11/2014, 12:41) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Your comment demonstrates ignorance.

      If you read and are informed you would know that the chairman is required to have a certain number of years experience at the Bar.

      On top of that the quality of that experience matters. This man is a QC, a mark of being an outstanding advocate and learning. He also has experience acting as a judge on the ECSC Court of Appeal. How many available local lawyers can top these credentials?

      Appointing local for the sake of it, when they are not ready does nothing besides show up their inadequacies and make it bad for other locals who follow behind them, because those that go before creates an impression that locals are not up to the task.
  • Sure (12/11/2014, 10:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    what about the Register of Interests?!
  • Independent Lady (12/11/2014, 15:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI is great for setting up systems and organizations..unfortunately the sustems dont work..everything looks good on paper sounds good on the news but when comes for decisive action the red tape is unbelievable..Approx. 4 years ago I had a dispute with a previous employer..that matter is inresolved i got pushed around even referred to a Mr. Berkley in the related ministry then he put me back to the commission Jan who had just taken over..everytime she saw me or I called she would call me back..I got fed up and nothing ever was resolved
  • Mac (12/11/2014, 15:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    labour gone dead we need Ferdina back


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