posted 9 Jan 2014, 12:26 by Gerry Kangalee
This feature is dedicated to practicing trade unionists whether shop stewards, branch officers or industrial relations practitioners at the Ministry of Labour, Industrial court, at the negotiation table etc.

Questions about industrial relations issues should be sent to kangaz@workersunion.org.tt and we will attempt to address these questions as expeditiously and as comprehensively as possible.


What is a Summary Dismissal? - This is dismissal without giving the worker a hearing as opposed to progressive practices of industrial relations where a hearing of the charge is held and the worker is allowed a defence.

Summary dismissal is supposedly predicated on the worker having committed an offence so grave that it goes directly to the root of the Contract of Employment. The Industrial Court is recent times has ruled against summary dismissals. As a result most unionized employers have adopted the practice of progressive disciplinary procedures.

What is meant by an action going to the root of the contract of employment? This is when a party to the Collective Agreement violates a major provision of the Collective Agreement.


Taking more leave of absence than what is provided in the agreement.

Refusing to perform normal duties as provided in the job description.

The employer maliciously failing to pay the worker on time or failing to pay the correct wages.

What are progressive disciplinary procedures? - These procedures involve giving the worker the opportunity to be heard and to put up a defence to charges in the presence of his Union and or a witness before taking disciplinary action. The Industrial Court has on many occasions supported the practice of progressive disciplinary procedures