One Public Servant who lost his job following the February 19 General Elections that was won by the New National Party (NNP) believes that he was victimised.
George Allard of Grand Bras, St. Andrew’s visited the office of THE NEW TODAY Newspaper to claim that his dismissal was politically motivated.
Allard who worked with the Ministry of Youth and Sports as the Coordinator for the Preparation of fields in St. David’s, said he was sent home at the end of April on account of allegations made against him by Permanent Secretary, Veda Bruno-Victor.
According to the worker, the Permanent Secretary alleged that “he was wearing yellow” during the period leading up to the General Elections.
The colour “yellow” is associated with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Tillman Thomas which loss the elections 15-0 to NNP.
Allard charged that his “verbal dismissal” by Bruno-Victor was followed by a termination letter dated May 8.
In that letter which was shown to this newspaper, Bruno-Victor indicated that he had attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 years and in accordance with the Labour Code of 1999 his employment at the La Sagesse and Bellevue Sporting facilities shall cease, effective May 1.
However, Allard said that he will be 60 years old in December and should still be on the job.
He alleged that there are some men over 60 years old still being employed with the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
“If you go to Tanteen (St. George’s) now, there are men 65 plus, Progress Park (in St. Andrew’s) has two men 60 plus, the (National) Stadium has one man who is almost 70 and they are all working still so I am convinced age was not the reason why she sent me home,” he said.
Allard noted that shortly after the February elections, Bruno-Victor had given him a dismissal letter to take to another worker at Progress Park, St. Andrew’s on the grounds that he supported the former Minister of Youth Empowerment and Sports, Patrick Simmons in the elections.
“She (Veda Bruno-Victor) said he (the man) supported Mr. Simmons and she is making him go, and she turned and said to me, ‘I hear you support NDC too’, and shortly after she gave me a letter to go,” said Allard.
The former Public Servant said he is still being owed some money for 21 day of holiday, which he alleged Bruno-Victor is refusing to honour.
He spoke of taking the issue to the Ministry of Labour and was promised by an official there that the matter will be dealt with.
THE NEW TODAY contacted Permanent Secretary Bruno-Victor for her response to Allard’s assertions and she informed this newspaper that the allegations should be treated as “a non- issue”.
The senior civil servant explained that Allard was issued with a letter indicating to him that he has reached the retirement age and as such could no longer be employed as a public officer in accordance with the law.
Bruno-Victor said that Allard’s allegations of victimisation is baseless as it was the NNP government that had employed him in the first instance and as such she does not understand his accusations.