“I spoke with so many different persons asking them, from the highest level of government, the highest level of state administration asking them to drop the case because I knew the facts were not with them, the law was not with them but they don’t want to listen to reason or to law,” Jomo Thomas told Asbert News Network exclusively on the heels of his chambers’ most recent Courtroom victory.
Earlier this month Madame Justice Esco Henry ruled against the State and announced “an important decision pertaining to official highhandedness and governmental overreach, in the case Public Service Union and the Permanent Secretary of National Security, the Chief Personnel Officer and Public Service Commission,” Thomas shared via Facebook.
The veteran lawman described as “a serious tendency to erode Union rights and workers’ rights” recent events that has pitted the government against members of its civil service. These challenges have led to more High Court successes for the claimants, championed by their sundry Unions, than for the offending arm of government, often times the Public Service Commission. Thomas referenced his latest Plain Talk article, “My Party, Right or Wrong,” as published in The Vincentian Newspaper last Friday, in support of his view that the government’s prolonged hardheadedness would be its continual downfall.
“I gave the example of when Otto Sam was first transferred and then fired and then I gave the example of the Unions standing with the 3 teachers who participated in the elections of 2010 as candidates for the New Democratic Party. The Otto Sam case and the case with Daniel, Johnson and Thomas were Teachers’ Union led cases. The Public Service Union against the Public Service Commission that was on an issue of record keeping and seniority and so on. The Union drove that and the Union won that but we were not the attorneys on that.
“And then there’s this case with Jamali Whyte. He’s a young man, he has his family – he has a child and his woman for many years and the State essentially wanted to lift him out of that situation to bring him up here on the mainland to work; and all of that was done in the period of week. We challenged that. We judicially reviewed that decision and as you saw the Court ruled in our favor.”
Not only are the Unions judiciously exercising their roles, in tandem with the local Courts, as “bulwarks against” workers’ rights violations but they are also being vindicated by the various judgments, Thomas opined.
“The State is acting in a very arrogant fashion. I distinctly recall when Otto Sam was transferred, I told the requisite people in authority that the government is acting illegally, is acting improperly and will not prevail in the transfer case. Justice Thom who is now on the Court of Appeal found that the government had acted illegally and they reversed that.
“Then the government proceeded to fire Otto Sam and I told the requisite authorities that the dismissal case is an even easier case to fight than the transfer case and Otto Sam will win it, so said so done. The Court found that in firing him the government acted illegally and improperly.
“And this case where the PSU sued the government in the name of some public workers on the issue of promotions and seniority and so on, Justice Henry found that the promotions were not done in keeping with the regular procedures. She found that the promotions and seniority system were procedurally improper, she found that the whole system was not being run properly and called on the PSU to do a whole series of things which they have not done,” he told ANN.
Thomas again stressed that he reached out to a host of potential intercessors “from… the highest level of state administration” as he tried, to no avail, to negotiate an out of Court resolution to the issues confronting Jamali Whyte as represented by the PSU. He sees, instead of penitent reform, “a certain arrogance in terms of the ways in which the State proceeds to deal with citizens.”
Which he posits, “is done with scant regard for the law. In many cases absolute disregard for the law and that’s why each time the government is challenged on the point the government loses. It is unfortunate because it shows that they are not learning anything from these cases. And all they have to do is to go and read the decisions to see when you have to do something else, ensure that your actions comport with the previous decisions of the Court.
“But the guys don’t want to do that they don’t care and as a result they get piss on their head each time because once the matter is reviewed the Court is going to look at the law, at the procedure and the Court is going to conclude that they are operating improperly and they would lose the case.” Thomas shared with ANN.