You are here: Home / Updates / Trinidad and Tobago: The dismissal of Ria Sinanan, a domestic worker in the East of Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago: The dismissal of Ria Sinanan, a domestic worker in the East of Trinidad

Comments
by IDWFED published Apr 07, 2009 12:00 AM
Contributors: ION (National Union of Domestic Employees)
Ria Sinanan worked as a domestic worker for a family in the East of Trinidad. She is twenty eight (28) years old and started employment with the employer in June, 1998 until she was dismissed on April 7, 2009.

Details

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO -

Ria Sinanan worked as a domestic worker for a family in the East of Trinidad. She is twenty eight (28) years old and started employment with the employer in June, 1998 until she was dismissed on April 7, 2009.

She reported to the Union that she was told to go on the roof of the employer`s house to show a workman, who came to repair the roof, where the leaks were. She said she did as she was told and when she left the roof and was climbing down the ladder, the ladder slipped and she fell off the roof and broke her hand. She said it was a rainy day and the ladder was a folding ladder. The employer never investigated as to what caused the ladder to slip. The worker said it was because of the rain.

However, the worker said the employer came outside and saw her on the ground after she started calling for help. The employer then went inside and called her mother on the telephone and told her that her daughter had an accident and she should come and take her to the hospital.

Her mother Margaret Sinanan said when she arrived the ambulance was already there apparently waiting for her and she said she alighted the ambulance immediately and accompanied her daughter to the Hospital.

The worker was examined at the Sangre Grande Hospital and was then referred to the Port of Spain General Hospital (approximately 30 miles away) to be attended to. She was examined and her hand put in cast.

Her mother Margaret said she took up employment with the employer for three weeks while her daughter was nursing her broken hand but they had a disagreement and the employer told both Margaret and Ria to leave her House and do not come back.

Margaret said what caused the argument is that Ria came to the employer`s home where she was working and she asked her what she was doing there? Ria said she came to feed the dogs because the Madam had called her. Her mother Margaret then told the employer that Margaret`s doctor said she should be resting the hand. But the employer insisted that Ria could still be at work to answer the door, open the gate and feed the dog.

The mother said she took up the job with Ria`s employer, and worked for three weeks and she was paid $50.00 per week. She said she took the job only because, she said “they will brainwash her and make her do things she should not be doing with her hand”. She also said she worked Monday to Saturday four hours per day.

Meanwhile they gave Ria $200 per week until they dismissed she and her mother three weeks after the accident. She was not qualified to receive injury benefits from the National Insurance Scheme because the employer had never registered her with the National Insurance nor did the employer pay any contributions on her behalf.

The worker was never given injury leave. She was deprived of benefits under the National Insurance, and her injury caused her to be dismissed.

There is nowhere for this worker to seek redress. The Industrial Relations Act (IRA) deprives her of the right to recourse, because under the Act she is not regarded as a worker. Nevertheless she can seek redress with regards to violations of the Minimum Wages (Household Assistant Order) Act.

Ria worked:
Monday to Saturday from 7.00a.m. to 6.00p.m.
Sundays  8.00a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and she would return for 3.00p.m. to 5.00pm. for a weekly salary  of $450.00.

She was not paid extra for working overtime, or for working on Public Holidays, she never received vacation leave, neither was she paid for it.

Domestic workers are not covered under the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act).

Source: ION (National Union of Domestic Employees)

Story Type: Story

blog comments powered by Disqus