Diamonds International workers fight for their jobs

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Three former employees of Diamonds International who were reportedly fired for failing to meet sales targets are at this moment hoping that the Labour Department will rule in their favour in order to resolve what the union says was their unjust dismissal.
However, the Labour Commissioner Eltonia Anthony-Rojas has told OBSERVER media that her department has not officially gotten involved in the dispute and is still awaiting further submissions from the Antigua Trades & Labour Union (AT&LU).
Many calls were made to Diamonds International’s General Manager Ido Levy but these were unanswered.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the AT&LU Hugh Joseph has charged that the company’s management has not provided “any reasonable explanation” to justify the termination in the union’s view.
According to the union executive who was speaking in an interview on Tuesday, the three workers received dismissal letters on or about the first Friday in May. The indication was that they had failed to meet sales targets.
“There were other employees who received letters advising that they were not meeting sales targets and if the trend continued then management would have to take disciplinary action up to and including termination,” Joseph said.
He reported that during a meeting with Levy on the Monday which followed, the union and management were unable to resolve the matter and then told the management that it would ask the Labour Department to intervene.
Anthony-Rojas told OBSERVER media that it was “not so long ago” that the workers had become unionized. Joseph contends that the workers who were dismissed were “targeted” because of their support for the union.
He said, “They are those that have openly supported the union. That is not acceptable in Antigua & Barbuda today. We cannot allow anyone to run rough shod around our system.”
Joseph said the union was not satisfied with the explanation given by the management as to how the sales targets were reached.

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