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'I was treated like a mad man; Wrongfully dismissed'- BVI Ports Authority worker

- said he was belittled by being made to see a psychiatrist; not given a fair chance to defend himself against allegations levelled against him by a co-worker
Philip E. Mickle, who worked at the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) for some eight years as a mechanic, is claiming that he was belittled by management and then wrongfully dismissed from his job at the BVIPA. Photo: BVIPA
Acting Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) Alfred 'Al' Henley (in photo) declined to comment on the allegations of Mr Phillip E. Mickle. Photo: VINO/File
Acting Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) Alfred 'Al' Henley (in photo) declined to comment on the allegations of Mr Phillip E. Mickle. Photo: VINO/File
The letter from the BVIPA referring Mr Phillip E. Mickle to a psychiatrist. Photo: VINO
The letter from the BVIPA referring Mr Phillip E. Mickle to a psychiatrist. Photo: VINO
The letter instructing Mr Mickle to resume duties at the BVIPA. Photo: VINO
The letter instructing Mr Mickle to resume duties at the BVIPA. Photo: VINO
The 'Termination Letter' to Mr Phillip E. Mickle from the BVI Ports Authority. Photo: VINO
The 'Termination Letter' to Mr Phillip E. Mickle from the BVI Ports Authority. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- A mechanic who worked at the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) for some eight years is claiming that he was belittled by management and then wrongfully dismissed from his job at the BVIPA.

Mr Philip E. Mickle made it clear to Virgin Islands News Online that even though his “wrongful dismissal” has affected his family, he was not interested in getting his job back at the BVIPA but wanted to let the public know of the alleged victimisation of certain BVIPA workers under Acting Managing Director Mr Alfred ‘Al’ Henley.

Mr Mickle also believes he was treated unfairly because he was an expat worker who was accused of threatening a local. He said he was the one constantly being harassed by the local employee but ended up being the one dismissed.

Allegations

On the April 5, 2016 Mr Mickle said he turned up to work and was refused parking in the compound and on querying why he was not allowed to do so, he was reportedly told that the instruction came from a security manager. On making further queries, Mr Mickle said he was told that a co-worker, Mr Willis Thomas, had complained to management that he was threatened by Mr Mickle.

He said it was the same co-worker who he was constantly “getting problems with” at work that made the allegations against him.

Mr Mickle said he was then summoned to meet with Mr Henley, the Security Manager and the Human Resources Manager Miriam Mark over an allegation of threat made by the said co-worker against Mr Mickle, who said he told them he hadn’t told the co-worker anything in six months due to the issues between them.

He was further told that three persons had written to management supporting the claims of the co-worker, however, when he asked where the accusers were, he was alleged told: “That is not necessary, this is not a court case and what’s not but based upon the alleged written statement submitted they came to the conclusion that I threatened the co-worker.”

‘I was treated like a mad man’

Before being sent home and told to await a call from the ports, Mr Mickle said he was told that he would be sent to a psychiatrist for an evaluation. He said this made him feel as though he was a “mad man” but he decided he was going to comply.

“I couldn’t even go and retrieve my own personal belongings.”

On April 13, 2016 Mr Mickle said he received a letter instructing him to go see Dr June Samuel for his evaluation. He said he spoke to Dr Samuel and was then ordered to do a blood test after which Dr Samuel told him he was “alright”.

On May 20, 2016 after being home for some six weeks, Mr Mickle said he received a letter from the HR Manager Mark stating that he was free to resume duties at the BVIPA under conditions that he reports to Dr Samuel for five more sessions. In the letter, shown to Virgin Islands News Online, Mr Mickle was also told not to bring any “machetes, cutlass, knives or similar items” to work and to refrain from any altercation with his co-worker Mr Thomas.

“If I am deemed fit to return to duties why are you telling me I have to go back five days more for counselling as they put it? Bearing in mind that you sent me a letter after we had a meeting with Dr Samuel, you as the HR Manager who told me I needed to go back five days for counselling needed to make the appointments. Could I just go and walk in the doctor’s place like that? You were doing the appointments all the time.”

Mr Mickle said he went back to work, however, on June 3, 2016 he met the co-worker and another person in the area where he was working and asked him about his presence there. “I asked him what he was doing here when he already wrote to management that I threatened him and all of that, causing me to be sent to a psychiatrist like I mad, now you coming and mess around my job.”

Mr Mickle said he reported to his supervisor a Mr Callwood that he was not trusting of Mr Thomas anymore and that he stays out of his way. “With that I left and went home.”

Dismissal letter

On Monday June 6, 2016 Mr Mickle said he was greeted with a letter of dismissal from Mr Henley. “It was based upon the fact that I never went back to the doctor. Also, it stated that the supervisor said I was not performing my duties...that is the letter I reached.”

“Eight years plus I worked at the ports I never had a suspension letter, never had a warning letter and this is what they told me, that I dismissed.”

According to Mr Mickle, he was treated unfairly as he was never granted a proper hearing and given the opportunity to represent himself or exercise his right to have someone represent him regarding their concerns of discipline.

“The accuser was never present when they pulled me in more or less to try my case. They came up with their own decisions.”

Victimisation at the Ports?

Asked if he had taken up the matter with the Department of Labour or the Complaints Commissioner, Mr Mickle said he had not. “To tell you the truth I just want these things to come out, with what is going on at the Ports. Just two days ago you had people getting victimised just like me...Since Mr [Claude O. Skelton) Cline left and this guy [All Henley] take over he on a rampage in the Ports.”

“Last year or something like that I went into a meeting with Mr Henley and he watched me in my face and said if I think Cline here and he Cline can’t save we. An acting Manager saying that to an employee that. What alone that tell you?”

When contacted and Mr Mickle’s allegations put to him, Acting Managing Director of the BVIPA Mr Al Henly said: “I have no response.”

Asked why he felt Mr Thomas had an issue with him, Mr Mickle opined that he believes Mr Thomas was not taking kindly to the fact that he Mr Mickle was put to act over him in a supervisory position. “The problem escalated in February last year when the supervisor was going on vacation and he left me to act. He [Thomas] believed to himself that he supposed to act,” Mr Mickle alleged, noting that he had many more years experience at the Ports compared to Thomas who came recently.

This news site reached Mr Thomas who briefly spoke to us, while declining to respond to the allegations put to him.

“The Ports Authority fired Mickle. I didn’t fire Mickle, you need to talk to Ports Authority, ok,” Mr Thomas said.

54 Responses to “'I was treated like a mad man; Wrongfully dismissed'- BVI Ports Authority worker”

  • fish (09/06/2016, 10:10) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    So the dramma at the ports did not end with Csc
    • Warehouse (09/06/2016, 11:41) Like (10) Dislike (15) Reply
      Some people dont want to work and Al not playing them games.
    • question (09/06/2016, 12:09) Like (11) Dislike (5) Reply
      Miriam Mark is HR. Where the Cupid lady?
      • N.Bank (09/06/2016, 12:54) Like (18) Dislike (3) Reply
        Them done send she packing!
      • Hmm (09/06/2016, 13:38) Like (34) Dislike (0) Reply
        Hmm she is the HR and the staff aint self know she is HR the Port need some justice. Alot of I'll treatment going.
        • stop lie (09/06/2016, 18:31) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
          The I'll treatment only for some eh. Which staff aint know? Set of followers.
        • Nuff jokes (09/06/2016, 19:21) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
          Hmmm We know you refresh the page and like the comment yourself. She is tHR Manager and you cant do nothing about it.
          • Your point is (10/06/2016, 12:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
            Who cares, it is just proper ethics man ayo stop act like cow in barrel ayo sound really personAl, I guess she is doing a fine job,perfect example on the news
            • SHUT UP (10/06/2016, 18:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
              How come I see the letter and I aint have email so go ask who in charge of you.
  • Well Sah (09/06/2016, 10:12) Like (35) Dislike (0) Reply
    When God ready for these demons they will think it is obeah!
    • !!!! (09/06/2016, 12:16) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
      Well Sah you are so right. It have them all through the Government, in fact they are everywhere. I say it every day on my job. Leave them to Father God!
    • Lol..... (09/06/2016, 17:39) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      CSC said the same thing!
  • wize up (09/06/2016, 10:17) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
    Probabily they found out that you voted for VIP ask Dr Dawson; they found out he associates with VIP and he was dismissed as well
    • HELLO!! (09/06/2016, 11:32) Like (12) Dislike (7) Reply
      Dawson was dismissed because of poor performance on his part.
    • @ wize up (09/06/2016, 12:32) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      for real no joke wize up
    • BVIslander (09/06/2016, 15:13) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Stop trying to use politics to justify incompetent people. Dr. Dawson was dismissed because of the poor state of the college
      • Strupes (09/06/2016, 20:29) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
        The poor state of the college has to do with the excellent BOARD. Dawson have to take the heat because HE afraid to talk. Set of devious people.
    • Yep (09/06/2016, 20:26) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      If you don't side with NDP, you are a sitting mallet duck in a pond waiting to be picked off by the hunter. With NDP, you are going to get down with the crew or lay down.
  • LOL (09/06/2016, 10:24) Like (27) Dislike (3) Reply
    He is so true. The port need some proper management who understand the system. People are put in position who have clue anout the organization and how it operate. Port need an audit and take the square out of the circle. Because they have no clue of what they doing but they want big position. More to come just wait and see.
  • born here (09/06/2016, 10:28) Like (18) Dislike (5) Reply
    Look Mele Put Clyde back on the Job seemingly, Henly is a just a big of a bully.,, Rawr!!
  • ok (09/06/2016, 10:37) Like (12) Dislike (17) Reply
    So where is the other side of the story? The fact that he is not going to Labour with it means he has no case. NEXT!!!
    • Really (09/06/2016, 11:23) Like (24) Dislike (1) Reply
      The labour department is a waste of time only then he will he will be put under the rug.they do not look out for no one
    • right (09/06/2016, 12:06) Like (32) Dislike (1) Reply
      OK WHERE IS THE LABOUR DEPARTMENT LET ME TELL YOU THAT DEPARTMENT IS A WATSE THEY DO NOT LOOK OUT FOR THE LABOUR FORCE IN THE BVI.
      • VG (09/06/2016, 16:59) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
        Look what happened YCCS.The big man come down from Italy tell the workers he will pay them while they close.Nothing like that happen. Even the Operation Manager who where there say he don't know nothing about that. Even one the worker who save a man life during the regatta lose she job.no one not even the 9 district rep meet with the workers. Not all the worker have to apply back for them job.what labour you all talking bout,the minister and the big man tight from YCCS.
    • Me (09/06/2016, 14:07) Like (1) Dislike (31) Reply
      Ask him if he remember how he get this job in the first place and if he can't tell him place a call to o'neal to refresh his memory . This job was not his in first place buttttttttttt.
      • 284 (09/06/2016, 20:48) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
        just like every body else, what is your point, why you do ask the current hrm how she get there. lol but the put is right is right do not treat people like that, every body have to make an living
    • HAHA (09/06/2016, 19:52) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      Labour Department is the biggest joke on Tortola. One bunch of damn sour grapes in a barrel. The only thing labour department is doing is taking up time and space.Sometimes I often wonder what use are they. If a flounder was running that Department, you would get better results.
  • SKA (09/06/2016, 10:49) Like (26) Dislike (5) Reply

    Al needs sending home his damn self. wi**ed setta people.

  • what a mess (09/06/2016, 11:10) Like (4) Dislike (37) Reply
    i have alot of locals with out a job give them a job let mickle go back home and get a job dey
    • wize up (10/06/2016, 07:30) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
      @ what a mess: so book his flight and help him pack(he is allowed 1 suitcase on LIAT) without any extra charge
  • Well (09/06/2016, 11:37) Like (29) Dislike (2) Reply
    He think he was belittled? VINO you need to come visit us at BVI Tourist Board! I'm pretty sure our story will be next making headlines! We will show you what bullying and victimization is from senior management to staff members. Once you're not a part of the clique or someone who they can have as a puppet, you're in trouble!!!!!! Come visit us VINO we waiting!!!!!!!!!! Ting2talk
    • True, True, true (09/06/2016, 15:37) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
      Yes VINO, for real, make That Tourist Board your next stop. Don't let them know you are comming because they are going to cover up and act like everything is honkey dorey. One bunch of jokes in Management and some workers. A damn alley cat deserve the paycheck they are making.
    • Ting go talk for real. (13/06/2016, 02:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Vino is true I hear the same exact thing. Dem say the financial controller is who running the show from NY. She makes all decisions even the HR ones too and those that of the Director without her knowledge. Really ting to talk. If you not part of the clique then is bye bye for u.
  • You see (09/06/2016, 11:44) Like (2) Dislike (9) Reply
    You like to threaten people with lawyer, go get a lawyer now.
  • Hmm (09/06/2016, 11:48) Like (15) Dislike (6) Reply
    Well you would swear all ayo does work Port Authority!!! Seems to know more than all who working here. Port is not the only working environment with problems..that is everywhere!!!!!!!!! I swear this island is just annoying
  • tola (09/06/2016, 12:32) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    another reason why NDP must go!
  • Well Sah (09/06/2016, 13:26) Like (11) Dislike (7) Reply
    Utilizing her private practice, y'all can't see the woman is responsible for 90% of the mental patients on the island, have they improved? NHI here we come.
  • ZZZ (09/06/2016, 15:40) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    @ you See, they can kiss A&& with their threat about lawyer. They are not the only ones who could hire Lawyer.
  • Boo (09/06/2016, 15:49) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    One set of Uncle Toms and Auntie Sues A;; kissers in these management positions. Yes sir, no sir. Do you want corn breaddd with your ham hock and black eye peas sir? One bunch of A;; kissers.
    • @ Boo (09/06/2016, 20:58) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      yea kiss the ring me sah
    • Sugar (10/06/2016, 13:29) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Boo, don't forget the white apron and white gloves. Yes sir maser/master, let me get the list of non NDP workers for you that I am going to pick on today maser/master. Maser/master, would you like for me to draw your bath.LOL.
  • Black XPats (09/06/2016, 19:41) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Those same people are actors they always hate us. They act like they Like us. That's why their music and their busindss suffering.. We will boycott them.
  • Hanley (09/06/2016, 22:37) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    Al Hanley is a joke bully bull headed we want back Clude
    • @Hanley (10/06/2016, 07:36) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Other Statutory bodies like the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) started off around 2012 with over $15M in the bank, however, today they have less than $2 Million, according to reports reaching our newsroom...........

      Clude did this you fool. But yes you get hypnotize too because you cant think for yourself.
    • Really (10/06/2016, 14:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Try go sit down...buh clude back
  • voice (10/06/2016, 04:01) Like (3) Dislike (19) Reply
    Expats should not be working at any of our ports. How can we talk security? This country has been sold out. That is why locals cannot get jobs.
  • Belonger With A Broader Perspective (10/06/2016, 04:02) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    so much drama in the BVI...MR. Mickle, I hope you have all your ducks in a row. Lawyer up and sue them.
  • Pissoff (10/06/2016, 08:26) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    The whole of bviport authority is a joke from the management to the rest of the body if the head bad the whole body going to be bad it seems as if very workers are being treated and but no one want to come forward and say anything
  • Realist (10/06/2016, 14:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    How can you but a man that punch a tourist
    In a ministry that have to deal with tourist on a daily basis that's bull $$$$ C>>> but a* there
    An the bastard turn against C>>>>e dirty b

  • 911 (10/06/2016, 18:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well sah...
  • red cross (11/06/2016, 00:36) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr Henley an all these other ppl from them get a position it look like it when to is head
  • island girl (13/06/2016, 23:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    He ain't from here send him back to Guyana,the wouldn't refuse him....how he get working in Ports is beyond me.....


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