One-woman picket bears fruit

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The single-handed protest action mounted by a woman earlier this month against her former employer to demand outstanding termination payments have not been in vain.

OBSERVER media has been reliably informed that Thalia Parker-Baptiste, a former employee of the St. John’s Cooperative Credit Union (SJCCU), has been paid what was due to her.

However, when contacted, Parker-Baptiste said she was not at liberty make any statement to the media on the matter.

Parker-Baptiste, who was the Business Development Officer for the credit union from 2013 to 2017, took legal action against her former employer, seeking redress for unfair dismissal, and the matter should have been finally resolved on 31 October 2018.

In a previous interview with OBSERVER media, Parker-Baptiste said that after she informed the manager of the cooperative about some unethical issues, she was told that her department would be closed and her position made redundant.

Despite being told there was a new position, Parker-Baptiste said that post was not awarded to her. After she met with the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU), the SJCCU claimed to be very busy – before informing the union that she would be recalled to work in a week.

She also said that in April 2018 she saw a newspaper advertisement for the same position, but under the title of ‘Marketing Officer’, and this along with the other cited considerations prompted her to take legal action against SJCCU.

The former employee’s dispute with the credit union lingered for quite some time. She said she was even forced to dispense with her lawyer’s services because the SJCCU was dragging out the matter.

Though Parker-Baptiste was given a fraction of the monies owed on 7 December 2018, she said it was insufficient.

As a last resort, the mother of a nine-year-old girl decided to stage the protest with the hope of rectifying the situation.

In early April, Parker-Baptiste began staging regular pickets in front of the credit union, at first by herself, but later joined by her brother and daughter.

Having at last prevailed, she indicated that she could not disclose the amount paid to her or other details of the settlement because of an attached non-disclosure agreement which effectively muzzles her from speaking to the media or otherwise publicly.

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