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JTUM BATS FOR INDUSTRIAL COURT JUDGES

posted 16 Nov 2013, 17:00 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 16 Nov 2013, 17:00 ]
In a statement dated November 11th 2013 and endorsed by twelve unions, the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) stated: It has come to the attention of the JTUM that as per past practice by previous administrations, there is an intent by the PP government to replace particular judges/members of the Industrial Court, whose contracts of employment are near expiry, with persons otherwise who may be favoured based on political affiliation. 
 
The JTUM goes on record as condemning any such intention, which has been and continues to be accommodated by the nefarious practice of appointment of judges/members of the Court on fixed-term contracts of employment, where employment is terminated not on the bases of issues related to the judge's/member's job performance, but purely on the grounds of their contracts of employment having expired. 

An irony of this situation is that judges/members of the Court are victims of job insecurity created by contract labour, and terminations may well be in violation of ILO Convention No. 158 of 1982 on Termination of Employment, a convention that the Court has on legion occasions upheld as being a key guide to good Industrial Relations practice. 
 
Judges/Members may well fit the definition of workers within the meaning of the Industrial Relations Act and whether or not they do, the principles enshrined in the convention should be scrupulously observed by the Cabinet of T&T in considering appointments to the Industrial Court; current judges/members of the Court should therefore not be terminated save for reason of evidenced issues related to job performance and/or age of retirement considerations. 
 
Consequent upon the above as an interim measure, the JTUM also refers the relevant authority to the Report of the IRAC in this regard, and calls for expeditious amendment to the IRA to ensure employment security for judges/members of the Industrial Court free from political jaundice. 
 
JTUM also calls upon the Prime Minister in particular to ensure that the issue of gender balance is not ignored in the consideration of re-appointments and/or new appointments to the Court as may be applicable. 
 
JTUM is also guided by the principle of tripartism in relation to the appointment of judges/member’s to the Industrial Court.
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