Worker suspended while on AO (Medical leave).
PHILIPSBURG:— GEBE A1 mechanic Lionel Laurence is taking the company to court as he claimed that he has been placed on wrongful suspension while on medical leave. Laurence said on March 19th he fell down while at the job and due to the fall his knee was severely injured causing him to undergo three major surgeries and is scheduled to a fourth in August 2017.
Laurence a local St. Martiner said that ever since he fell at least two senior employees of the company have been making his life miserable, one being the current CEO and Human Resource manager suspended him for the second time wrongfully, the long-time well-experienced mechanic said in 2014 while working half days due to his injured knee which caused him to have a knee replacement, he was called in at night to work on an engine, Laurence said even though he was not allowed to work he felt that he should go in to assist the other mechanics to repair an engine that had fallen out, he said when he reached the power-plant no other mechanic was there and besides they needed a ‘pulley” he said while he waited at the plant no other mechanic showed up he left the job site especially since he not supposed to strain his knee and no one else was there.
He said that incident took place on a Friday night and when he reported to work the Monday thereafter, he was presented with a suspension letter whereby Kingsdale suspended him for 3 days and withheld his salary. That situation he said was only corrected in February 2017 when the SMUC took over as their union representative. However, by April 12th, 2017 he was slapped with another suspension by Kingsdale who claimed to have been following him with other GEBE employees and said they caught him working at a construction site. Laurence said on April 11th, 2017 he called Kingsdale and requested a job letter since he needs to purchase a vehicle and needed a loan from the bank. He said the bank asked him for documents and he asked someone he knew to have their lawyers prepare those documents, and as such, the person requested his identification card. He said the person told him to meet him at Blue Mountain where he was busy building some houses.
Laurence said he did see Kingsdale and two other employees following him after he picked up the job letter but he did not worry about the manager or other employees because he has prosthetic knee because of injuries he sustained on the job. He said when he reached Blue Mountain he got out of the vehicle he was driving and walked up to meet the person he requested to assist him. Laurence said that the following day April 13th Kingsdale sent GEBE employees with a letter informing him that he has been suspended until an investigation is conducted. He said his union representatives and the department of labor did everything to get management of GEBE around the table to discuss the case but management of GEBE never responded to the union or the department of labor. Laurence said the reason management is ‘ducking’ is because Kingsdale by passed Clifford Sasso and went to the CEO to sign off on the suspension.
Laurence further explained that GEBE has done everything possible to get rid of him while they are busy hiring foreign laborers who cannot perform the jobs, he said GEBE has a number of Dominicanos that cannot even fill out a work order at the power plant and these he said are getting preferential treatment. He made clear that some persons in management are victimizing locals that work hard and love doing their jobs. One worker Laurence said should be at GEBE power plant is Ray Carty who was fired by management of GEBE. The A1 mechanic said that even though he is not at work he knows the people that are capable of managing the power plant and those that actually get the job done.
He said the situation at the power-plant have the workers in a very bad state and if the company does not fix the issues the workers they will eventually walk out and this time they will not give Supervisory Board the time they need to regulate the problems the workers are facing. He called on the shareholder to remove the people he deemed as incompetent and get St. Maarten’s best back on the job so that GEBE engines could work optimally.
Source: St. Martin News Network
EXCLUSIVe: GEBE A1 Mechanic taking company to court for wrongful suspension.