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Court upholds ruling in favour of Iberostar workers

Published:Wednesday | January 23, 2013 | 1:14 PM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

The management of the Iberostar hotels has failed in its attempt to have the Judicial Review Court set aside an award of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT), which had ordered the reinstatement of some 400 workers who were made redundant in 2009.

Branch Developments Limited, which runs the hotel, had taken the IDT and the University and Allied workers Union (UAWU), which represent the workers, to court last year seeking to have the IDT award quashed.

The company was also seeking a declaration that on October 2, 2009, it was entitled to or was justified to terminate the employment of the workers concerned on the ground of redundancy.

Justice David Batts heard legal arguments and last week Friday handed down his decision, dismissing the claim.

Legal costs were awarded in favour of the defendants.

The UAWU and the management of the Iberostar hotel have been at odds since the hotel announced that it would be temporarily closing one of the hotels because of a fall in occupancy.

The union, which was represented by attorney-at-law Wendel Wilkins, had accused Iberostar of unfair treatment of Jamaican workers, following its decision to make about 400 positions at the property redundant.

The UAWU took the issue to the IDT which ruled that the workers should be reinstated before December 5, 2011 with payment of full wages from the date of termination to the date of reinstatement.

The IDT had ruled that if the workers were not reinstated they should be compensated with redundancy payments in accordance with the law.

Attorneys-at-law Lisa Whyte and Monique Harrison had argued that the IDT award should not be disturbed.

The hotel was represented by attorneys-at-law Dr Lloyd Barnett and Kwame Gordon.

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