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C.S.A. Queries Labour Boss’ ‘Big Stick’

Image of Wilfred Pierre
Wilfred Pierre

THE relationship between the Civil Service Association and that of Labour Commissioner, Ray Narcisse are under severe strain following several decrees recently handed down to the former by the latter.

Now the CSA is responding saying that the Commissioner has acted in haste, and contradicts himself when dealing with matters presented to him by a handful of its members calling themselves “Save Our Union”.

“The CSA has received an unprecedented and unusual number of decrees handed down by the Labour Commissioner, Mr. Ray Narcisse, laced with threat actions of charges if our Association failed to attend hearings called by him as Acting Labour Commissioner, Deputy Labour Commissioner and now in his latest capacity as Labour Commissioner,” Wilfred Pierre said.

What has irked the CSA is an order by Narcisse to the CSA to hold an extraordinary meeting this month as called for by the members calling themselves ‘Save Our Union’.

This group has been at loggerheads with the executive of the CSA for quite some time ever since former President Mary’s venture into party politics by aligning herself with the opposition United Workers Party, become a party senator in the process.

Pierre said that had he complied with Narcisse’s directive to hold that extraordinary general meeting this month or next month it would have contravened the CSA’s Constitution, which clearly stipulates how extraordinary general meetings should be held.

“The CSA’s Biennial Convention is constitutionally due on 27 April 2016 at which the national Executive Council is elected. Our constitution forbids the holding of extraordinary general meetings within four months prior to the holding of CSA’s Biennial Convention,” Pierre said.

“It must be pointed out that the Labour Commissioner should have been fully aware of the provisions of the Union’s Constitution, given the fact that he was the one, who in October 2013, in his capacity as Registrar of Trade Unions approved our constitution,” Pierre added.

Another matter in which Narcisse appeared to have acted in haste or contradicted himself, according to Pierre took place last year, Pierre said, when a staff member of the CSA’s Secretariat was directed to proceed on vacation after accumulating a number of days, as is the norm in the government service.

Pierre said that instead of taking vacation as directed the staff member returned to work without reporting to him, the general secretary stating that the Labour Commissioner had ordered her to return to work.

“Our union was stunned by Mr.Narcisse’s instructions to our employee and view his directives as wielding his big stick on our Association for reasons best known to him. A meeting was immediately convened with Mr.Narcisse at which our union’s position was factually stated for directing this staff member to proceed on vacation. Having laid our facts and reasons on the table before the Labour Commissioner, he rescinded his order and ordered this staff member to re-proceed on her vacation,” Pierre said.

“It is very, very sad and unusual the manner in which the Labour Commissioner has acted…..,” Pierre said.

Micah George is an established name in the journalism landscape in St. Lucia. He started his journalism tutelage under the critical eye of the Star Newspaper Publisher and well known journalist, Rick Wayne, as a freelancer. A few months later he moved to the Voice Newspaper under the guidance of the paper’s recognized editor, Guy Ellis in 1988.

Since then he has remained with the Voice Newspaper, progressing from a cub reporter covering court cases and the police to a senior journalist with a focus on parliamentary issues, government and politics. Read full bio...

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