Senator Caswell Franklyn Speaks – Poor Orlando Harris- Screwed Twice by CCJ

As far as I am concerned May 7, 2020, the day that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) delivered its judgment in the case Chefette Restaurants Ltd versus Orlando Harris, will go down as one of the darkest days in the history of workers rights in Barbados. Admittedly, I am stunned that the award granted by the Court of Appeal was reduced from $95,089.13 to $31,274.78 but that aside, I am more concerned about the inconsistency of the decisions, involving workers, coming out of the CCJ.

On July 18, 2018 the CCJ delivered its judgment in the case between Patrick Hill and Sagicor Life Inc. where the court acknowledged that it did not have jurisdiction to hear an appeal that came from the Severance Payments Tribunal. At paragraph 2 of that judgment the court said, in part:

It is trite law that, as specially created statutory tribunals are outside the normal courts’ structure, rights of appeal from such tribunals do not exist unless they are expressly conferred by a statute that determines the scope and nature of any appeal. In the interests of providing a simple, speedy and cheap procedure it is common to find rights of appeal restricted, especially where the members of the tribunal will have plenty of specialist experience in the matters coming before them. Thus, there may be no appeals on questions of fact, only on points of law, and it may well be that only one tier of appeal is available on points of law, as in s 39 of the SPA.”

The CCJ cemented the point by going on to say at paragraph 7 of the same judgment:

If there were to be any exceptional intention to extend rights of appeal from statutory tribunals all the way up to the CCJ, so detracting from the speed and cost-effectiveness of a tribunal system, surely such extension would need to be spelled out.”

As far as I’m aware, industrial relations practitioners accepted the CCJ’s judgment and would have advised their clients that appeals, from the statutory tribunal called the Employment Rights Tribunal (ERT), ended at the local Court of Appeal. The act of Parliament that established the ERT did not spell out a role for the CCJ as that court ruled in 2018.

The people of this country must now wonder, what is responsible for this about turn of the CCJ. This is the highest court of Barbados and it can ill-afford to be erratic in its decisions. I am not for one minute suggesting that the CCJ should be infallible, but I would expect that if it made a mistake, it would do the honourable thing by acknowledging the error. Nowhere in the Chefette decision did the CCJ seek to overrule its previous decision.

Mind you, this same CCJ said that matters from statutory tribunals should not come to them, unless it is spelled out in the statute. Nowhere in the Employment Rights Act is a role spelled out for the CCJ. The people of the Caribbean deserve better than this!

Since I am dealing with the Chefette case, there is one other aspect that troubles me. Using the CCJ’s reasoning, the court should have awarded Mr. Harris the sum of $40,707.66 instead $31,274.78. The last sentence in paragraph 4 of the judgment states:

At the time of his termination he had retained his position as acting manager and was earning a gross monthly salary of $4,200.00.

The CCJ agreed that Harris was entitled to three weeks’ pay for each of the 14 years that he was employed. $4200.00 per month is equivalent to $969.23 per week, that is 4,200 x 12 = 50,400 which is his annual salary. Divide that figure by 52 weeks in a year to get a week’s pay.

His award should therefore have been 969.23 x 3 x 14 = 40,707.66. Using the figures in the CCJ’s judgment, the award would have been short by $9,432.88.

21 comments

  • Our senator is a joker once again. The economy is collapsing and going down to zero, and the Senator is worried about workers’ rights.

    I think the Senator still does not understand that without workers in the private sector there are no workers’ rights either, only unemployed people.

    Like

  • And without workers there is no private sector, only unemployed capitalists.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I must admit that I too was surprised by the CCJ ruling.

    I don’t have any skin in the game.

    As Tron noted i am unemployed.

    I rarely eat fast food, because I can cook better food than any I have eaten at any restaurant where I have eaten, and these include restaurants in London, New York, Paris etc. although there was one, an Indian restaurant in the United States which came real-real close.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Caswell:

    Somewhere the CCJ seemed obligated to pursue the so-called “interests of justice” … Still, SMH. Seems meaningless, empty mumbo jumbo?

    But, ultimately, what legitimacy will any judicial system have, unless it is seen as objectively pursuing and serving “the interests of justice”, fairly, promptly and impartially administered?

    Like

  • The CCJ had the jurisdiction to hear the Chefette appeal – because it was an appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeal.

    Please read the press release about the CCJ’s jurisdiction at:

    Click to access Media-Release-Knox-vs-Deane-et-al.pdf

    Like

  • So Bajans will really allow a government who supports these crooks who don’t even pay a decent salary….to pay them in useless paper bonds….gotta be crazy to even think about it…

    Like

  • CASWELL

    The PM seemed to have put some deadly blows in you yesterday on the matter of deputy or assistant COP appointments.

    What sayeth thou!

    Mugabe also put some firm blows in Verla Depeiza from your co-oppositionist the dead DLP. We don’t expect that you’ll answer for her though. LOL

    Like

  • Pachamama

    I will answer you on the other post, Mock Police.

    Like

  • Tony Trotman

    Please what I wrote. The CCJ Itself stated that statutory tribunals are outside the normal courts structure, and that appeals can only come to the CCJ, If the legislation spelled it out. I therefore do not see the relevance of the document that you cited

    Like

  • Mr Franklyn

    The CCJ is saying that it cannot hear an appeal DIRECTLY from a Tribunal – “unless the Parliament of Barbados provides otherwise.” If there is no such provision – the case cannot bypass the Court of Appeal (CA).

    The CCJ is not saying that it cannot hear a case that was before a Tribunal. For example, if the case (e.g. the Chefette case) is appealed to the CA. And the CA makes a decision about the case. The CCJ can hear an appeal in relation to the case.

    You may have the final word.

    Like

  • The unemployment rate is now 36.5 percent and will soon reach 50 percent. You should focus on social welfare legislation and the Salvation Army. Labor law for employees is a relic for the museum.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Tron

    If a country is on lock down and some employers prefer to temporarily lay off workers, can we honestly calculate the correct level of unemployment? Is that rate meaningful? It does put unnecessary stress on the Unemployment Fund.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU

    I followed Tron down a rabbit hole. These too interventions are on the wrong blog.

    Like

  • Our senator is a joker once again. The economy is collapsing and going down to zero, and the Senator is worried about workers’ rights.

    I think the Senator still does not understand that without workers in the private sector there are no workers’ rights either, only unemployed people.

    ######################################################################################

    Without workers’ rights, there’s a situation we’ve had before. It’s called slavery.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Tee White May 16, 2020 8:27 PM

    It is called freedom of contract.

    The Barbadian social welfare state since 1966 is nothing else than the repetition of slavery. It deprives people of the freedom to decide about their assets. The welfare state only encourages the lazy and stupid. Do you seriously believe that a figure like Chris Sinckler would ever have become finance minister in a normal environment that also promotes intelligent people? Not me.

    Like

  • @ Tee White May 16, 2020 8:27 PM

    What you call slavery, they call simply work ethics in China, South Korea and Singapor, the new superpowers of the world economy. Or look to Guyana. People there are working very hard and have 50 percent economic growth this year. If the Barbadians’ attitude to work does not change, Barbados will be passed down.

    Your labour legislation and your trade unionists are a case for the historical museum. There they find their rightful place alongside dinosaurs and other extinct species.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    The more I look at all of these anti-worker positions, I am reminded of the saying: If you don’t believe in something you would fall for anything. ( May not be the exact wording)
    It seems like the grandchildren and great grandchildren, of the working class , who built this country, have no respect for their blood , sweat and tears. No wonder the : whites , Asians and other ethnic minorities, are in control of your future.
    The Black race has been shamed by you spineless modern day Uncle Toms, with your outdated wanna be intellectual mumbo jumbo , that is not even fit for the bowels of the sewage plant .

    Liked by 2 people

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @TonyTrotman, please clarify your interpretations of the appeal process from a tribunal “all the way up” to the CCJ.

    The basic interpretations from the CCJ ruling above suggests that a tribunal should be used to afford speed of process, reduced cost and a separation from the cumbersome court system.

    General knowledge shows few instances where an original case is appealed DIRECTLY to A FINAL court of appeal thus the position offered that the CCJ was stipulating no such direct appeal from a tribunal seems odd! Why would they have to state the obvious!

    But if one accepts that premiss of no direct appeal why would the CCJ seemingly contradict itself to opine about tribunal judgements which could still reach their jurisdiction via the CofA !

    Why promote that swift, specialized Tribunal judgements were NOT intended to NOT come all the way to the CCJ unless specifically stated in the legislation IF they ALWAYS accepted that such judgements could actually be appealed to them via the local CofA????

    Seems to be a strange word salad of Contriving Confusion & Jokes… and that too can be shortened to CCJ!

    Liked by 1 person

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    The right of appeal from the Employment Rights Tribunal to the Court of Appeal can be found in section 48 of the Employment Rights Act 2012. The section does not say that the decision of the Court of Appeal is FINAL.

    The right of appeal from the Severance Payments Tribunal to the Court of Appeal can be found in section 39 of the Severance Payments Act Cap. 355A. However, section 39(2) states that –

    “The decision of the (Court of Appeal) in any appeal under this section shall be FINAL.”

    Therefore, the CCJ ruled that it did not have the jurisdiction to hear the Hill case.

    You may have the final word.

    Like

  • @ Tron May 16, 2020 11:20 PM

    ”What you call slavery, they call simply work ethics in China, South Korea and Singapor, the new superpowers of the world economy.”

    Based on the above example, if my business shows a 50% profit on $1 M I have done better that a business that earned a 40% profit on one billion dollars. Apples and oranges

    Like

  • Bajan Free Party 2023 0r sooner

    Tron @ Pure slavery you are talking unless the Bosses drop their prices 50% so it, not a matter of what you make but what can you buy with what you make, the power lights, water, internet, food, gas oil is not cutting 50%, Bread butter cheese, fish, peanut butter airport taxes are not being cut and not at land taxes and rent, You all looking to turn Barbados into a CRIME ZONE like government! I can’t pay the people a living wae you all need not be in business, Let the Government Ministers government workers all of Barbados take a 50% cut, The banknotes for cars houses and cards still want their money! We all be living outside and 1937 will reach the same stores burned to the ground and lotted, and sold on the street for dirt! If you can not be fair, right or Just, We shall boycott all those looking to have people working as your slaves, CIN, CIN, CIN shout there doors see like they had the truth and idea ahead and leave they said they now own the Land ! they are gone, Make room for those to leave that MiaVirass invite to Barbados selling Her own People into slavery for investment only! When We get to the barebone we shall grow our own food! As I keep warning, And Our History was removed from WW1 and WW2 we were not Ready for Today 2020, I will not get into it NOW, I have Posting for Years WAkeup Or Die in your body and in your Business BFP

    Like

Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s