Police intervene to settle Tomlinson workers’ pay dispute

An unusual scenario played out at the Police Headquarters last Friday as workers of the Tomlinson’s school site had to be paid there following an alleged altercation between a subcontractor and an employee.

According to Colin Harrigan, owner of one of two firms working on the construction of the new government school plant, “The problem was not with me, it was between a sub-contractor and one of his employees. I heard the commotion and went to investigate and quell the situation. One worker was claiming that he wasn’t being paid for time that he had worked.”

He added that the situation got so volatile that the police had to be called and payments were moved and completed at the police headquarters instead.

He said workers are in the habit of signing in when they arrive at work but won’t sign out when they leave. Then they would sneak off then claim that they worked for hours when they were really absent and this was what caused the fiasco on Friday.

The worker was not on the job site and the timekeeper signed him out.

The contractor recalled, “Even when we got to the station a worker who had been paid at the site and who would have signed that he collected his money, came again claiming that he had not been paid. I told him I was going to get his money but I was really going to get a police officer. When he realized what I was doing he ran off.”

Harrigan said that his firm has over 70 workers of all trades on the site. However, these dishonest practices have caused him to change his entire way of running business.

“So, what I do now is that I sub-contract task work. For example, I pay workers $3.50 to lay a block and I pay you accordingly and this would eliminate the problem of dishonesty as far as time worked is concerned. This way there is no confusion as to what is to be paid,” the contractor said.

The police reportedly picked up some of the rowdy workers but released them shortly after.

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