Govt: Absent Immigration staff may lose salaries
The Government is calling on all employees of the Immigration Division to return to work.
And it has issued letters reminding employees of their legal obligation to continue to work normally, in order to satisfy their obligation to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and justify being paid a salary.
Employees who continue to refuse to attend work and/or to work normally at the Immigration Division offices were also warned that being absent without leave may result in appropriate salary deductions.
In a news release issued on Thursday night, Trade and Communications Minister Vasant Bharath said ongoing industrial action at the Immigration offices as orchestrated by the Public Services Association (PSA) is unreasonable, unjust and illegal.
“Reports have been received that since Monday, July 14, 2014, some employees continue to refuse to attend work and/or to work normally at the Immigration Division offices at 67 Frederick Street, Port of Spain, and San Fernando, ignoring the injunction granted by the Industrial Court,” the release stated.
It added while the Government is aware there have been some complaints about the state of the Immigration Division building at 67 Frederick Street, “the fact is that no serious danger or any unusual circumstances that are hazardous or injurious to health, life or safety have been identified”, the release stated.
Complaints about conditions at the Immigration Building at 67 Frederick Street, Port of Spain, have been substantially addressed and, to date, no complaints about conditions at the San Fernando Immigration Office have been lodged, the release stated.
“There is therefore no valid reason to justify any staff of the Immigration Division at either the Port of Spain or San Fernando office not to continue to work normally,” it added.
According to the release, in a letter dated July 9, 2014, from the Chief Inspector of the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) to PSA president Watson Duke, the Chief Inspector stated following the inspection of the Immigration Division head office on Frederick Street on July 4, “the actual safety and health workplace risk at the time of the inspection was not assessed to be unacceptable”, and “it was determined that the issuing of a prohibition notice on the Immigration Division head office at #67 Frederick Street was not an applicable enforcement decision”.