Caribbean Airlines is now being prosecuted in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court for failure to comply with an Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT) ruling to reinstate a former vice-president of legal affairs and corporate secretary, Nerine Small. Both parties are expected to reappear in court on February 7, 2013.
Caribbean Airlines faces a fine of $500,000 should a ruling be made against it and a further $20,000 for each day that the breach of the IDT’s ruling has occurred. According to court documents, Caribbean Airlines “has failed to carry out an order of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal on July 31, 2012… that Ms Nerine Small be reinstated in her job effective July 1, 2011 with payment of full normal wages”.
Small started working with Air Jamaica from 2002 as associate general counsel. She was made general counsel in 2006. In April 2010, Caribbean Airlines took over Air Jamaica and in May of that year she was made vice-president of legal affairs and corporate secretary. She was let go the following year, according to her statement filed in the magistrate’s court.
Small, who is represented by Georgia Gibson-Henlin of the law firm Henlin Gibson Henlin, took the matter to the IDT, which made its reinstatement order in July 2012. According to Small’s statement, her attorney wrote to Caribbean Airlines on August 10 about the ruling. The airline, she said, responded three days later, saying that it would comply with the order.
However, Small said on August 15 she was informed via letter from Caribbean Airlines that her position had been made redundant. Regarding this development, Small is contending that Caribbean Airlines did not follow the proper procedures. “In this way, Caribbean Airlines avoided reinstating me, in breach of the order of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal.”