Workers at T&TEC’s Public Lighting Department are calling for the removal of a manager following an alleged attack on a female employee.
Workers gathered outside the Tarouba facility yesterday, demanding that T&TEC treat fairly with Clerk II Reesa Ramlogan-Jodha, who is an executive vice-president of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU). The workers, led by OWTU First Vice-President Peter Burke, said Ramlogan-Jodha was just the latest case of abuse meted out by the manager, who particularly has no respect for women.
Ramlogan-Jodha said that the incident occurred last Friday when the manager attempted to inject himself in an appraisal, for which he was not involved. She said when she objected, he became violent.
“At the end of the day, the manager, he is not supposed to be a part of the process. The final document is supposed to go to him and on realising that he had interjected himself, I voiced my objections. I voiced my objections and he was not pleased with that. I told him that I was going to hold onto the document as he had suggested and to my great surprise, he lunged across the desk and grabbed at the document. I held onto it, I pulled it back from his hands and then he lunged again. That is when I jumped out of my chair. And the fact that I told him that I was going to report this matter, his response was, ‘well go ahead. Report it.’ So it goes to show that he had absolutely no remorse,” Ramlogan-Jodha said.
The incident left the clerk shaken up to yesterday and she has since made an appointment with the T&TEC’s Employee Assistance Programme.
Burke said the manager in question was a repeat offender who has been moved from the various departments because of his behaviour. He said workers have been suffering from his intimidation and bullying tactics, which are against the T&TEC’s policy.
Contacted for comment yesterday, T&TEC general manager Kelvin Ramsook said he only learned about the incident yesterday morning. He said Ramlogan-Ajodha’s department is overseen by a Chief Technical Officer, who has no complaint and he is yet to receive a report.
“Once we get an official complaint, we will certainly investigate it. There are systems put in place for transparency and we will investigate thoroughly if an official complaint is made. Once there is a breach of the rules, then action will be taken,” Ramsook said.
He reminded workers of the Industrial Relations Act which states that T&TEC was an essential service, making it illegal to stop work in protest. He said the Commission has a grievance procedure in place for employees to make complaints.
Burke said reports have been made to the police and T&TEC police as the manager assaulted Ramlogan-Jodha.
“He seems to be of the belief that females are second-class citizens and we have to deal with that. This should not be a problem in 2020. Workers have to be treated with respect. What is worse, if he can do this to an executive vice president, nobody is safe and we have to make him an example,” Burke said.