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Court denies application to set aside injunction against cops

Published:Friday | June 5, 2015 | 6:34 AM

The Supreme Court has denied an application by the Jamaica Police Federation to have the injunction barring cops from taking industrial action for the next 28 days set aside.

However, the Court has granted permission for the Federation to appeal.

In the meantime, the court says it recognises that members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force are exempt from the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, but there are serious issues to be tried.

It says there are questions about why the police are exempt while professionals who provide other essential services such as nurses and fire fighters are not.

The court says there also needs to be an exploration of whether there are mechanisms to prevent a body of this critical nature from taking industrial action.

The court says it recognises the special role of the police to preserve peace and protect citizens, therefore, certain restraints are required to achieve this objective.

According to the court, restraint from industrial action is reasonably justified in a democratic society.

The police had argued that the Government did not have to go to court to secure an injunction as the police commissioner could have used other means, including taking disciplinary action against cops who are staying away from work.

However, the court said the provisions available to the commissioner are woefully inadequate to deal with the pressing problems in relation to the security of the country.

Some cops have been on a sick out since Monday night.