Ex-hotel workers lose court battle
The Industrial Tribunal ruled that Grand Lucayan's decision to terminate 36 employees in September 2011 after they left their post was the right one as it "was a fundamental breach of their contract."
The workers maintained, however, that they had not abandoned their job, which was the grounds under which they were dismissed, but rather they had been called off the job to attend an emergency meeting with their union official.
Adamant about their stance, the group challenged the matter and filed a case with The Bahamas Industrial Tribunal Industrial.
At the center of the dispute was a meeting that was held by members of the union on the Great Lawn on September 28, 2011 in the area of the Manor House.
However, Vice President Ernie Wallace ruled on Thursday, August 9, that the actions of The Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied workers Union (BHCAWU) was reckless.
"The action by the treasurer of the union, Mr. Hubert Saunders in calling out his members on September 28, 2011 was entirely irresponsible," said Vice President Wallace in the ruling.
"The Tribunal finds that the walk-out by 36 applicants was a fundamental breach of their contract of employment and that the respondent was entitled to dismiss the applicants under the terms of their employment contracts."
The BHCAWU filed the application on behalf of the former Grand Lucayan employees on March 28, 2012.
They were represented by Harvey Tynes, Q.C.
Attorney Dwayne Fernander appeared on behalf of the Grand Lucayan.
The union filed on the ground of "wrongful dismissal," but the Grand Lucayan denied that the workers were terminated wrongfully.
Back in March, eight members out of the group, in an interview with The Freeport News, maintained they were told abruptly by their supervisor and union executives to report for an emergency meeting.
The group, most of them from the Housekeeping Department, said they had no idea they were doing anything illegal and, despite them giving no less than 10 years to the resort, they walked away with a mere one week's pay.
© 2012 The Freeport News