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posted 5 Dec 2014, 19:20 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 5 Dec 2014, 19:20 ]
Don Devenish, First Vice President of the Banking Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) has informed the

Industrial Court Judge, Brian Dabideen
president of the Industrial Court, Justice Deborah Thomas-Felix, that BIGWU will not, pending an investigation into the conduct of Industrial Court Judge, Justice Brian Dabideen, “subject our union and its officers to the direction of HH Mr. Dabideen in any matter before the Court.”

The Union’s position was transmitted to Mrs. Thomas-Felix in a letter dated December 4th 2014 and copied, among others, to all trade unions. The letter stated:

"(i) At a Case Management Conference (CMC) on December 01, 2014 before His Honour Mr. B. Dabideen in the matter of IRO No. 14 of 2014, a disagreement of views arose between myself as the Union’s representative and HH Mr. Dabideen.

(ii) ln the ensuing dialogue HH Mr. Dabideen stated that "Trade Unions in this country are obstructionist" and to which l took offence and walked out of the Court.

(iii) This exchange took place in the presence of the Bank’s representative, Ms. Ora Agarrat and the Court's clerk.

(iv) On November 26, 2014 in the matter of GSD-TD No. 370 of 2011 in which Mr. Dabideen was Chairman of the Coram comprising HH Mr. Gregory Rousseau and HH Mr. Robert Linton, our Labour Relations Officer Ms. Dionyse Fernandes appearing on behalf of the Union complained of a hostile and condescending attitude towards her by HH Mr. Dabideen.

(v) Consequent upon these behaviours by HH Mr. Dabideen, and particularly his profoundly disturbing and prejudicial comment about Trade Unions as being obstructionist, our Union advises of our complete loss of confidence in the judicial competence of HH Mr. Dabideen to be impartial in matters before him.

ln the Circumstances and pending an investigation into our complaint we regrettably inform of the decision not to subject our union and its officers to the direction of HH Mr. Dabideen in any matter before the Court.

We also take the opportunity to so inform HH Mr. Dabideen, the Registrar and our sister and brother units of the Trade Union Movement by copy of this item of correspondence and look forward to your early response to same."

Many trade union practitioners in the Industrial Court have expressed consternation, over time, at the attitude of Mr. Dabideen, but this is the first time that a formal call for an investigation into his conduct has been made by a trade union.