Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Lawyers, workers show up


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Despite being advised by the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and the Bar Association to stay away from the Supreme Court complex in Whitepark Road, The City, some lawyers and workers turned up for work yesterday.

The issue of the health and safety of the workers at the building has come to the fore within recent weeks, after they complained of mould falling from the roof.

When a DAILY NATION team visited the complex, NUPW general secretary Roslyn Smith, who was in an impromptu meeting with some workers, said some had opted to continue working.

“We met with the Attorney General [Adriel Brathwaite], Chief Justice [Sir Marston Gibson] and Registrar [Barbara Cooke-Alleyne] yesterday, and it was decided that those who wanted to continue working would report to the human resources department to be reassigned within the ministry,” she explained.

She added they were still awaiting the report from the environmental team from the University of the West Indies to determine the way forward. However, they would begin packing files, to be stored in a container on the compound, for cleaning.

Further checks revealed that the only court in operation was Court No. 5, which was dealing with bail matters, and some lawyers were present along with Justice Pamela Beckles.

On Monday, president of the NUPW, Akanni McDowall, told workers they should not return to the building until the environmental report was received, and they needed not worry about victimisation as they were protected under the Health and Safety Act.

Bar president Liesel Weekes had said she would be suggesting to the Attorney General, at a meeting to be held tomorrow, that the usual August court break be brought forward this year to minimise interruptions while the building was being cleaned.

Repeated efforts to reach Weekes for comment yesterday were unsuccessful. (RA)


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