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Judiciary misses deadline

Courts shutdown looms
Published: 
Saturday, August 16, 2014

Public Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke has warned that from next week he will be engaging judiciary workers at magistrates courts throughout the country in decisive action. Duke gave the warning yesterday after the Judiciary failed to meet his 3 pm deadline to produce a fire certificate and health and safety documents for all the magistrates courts. Two Tuesdays ago, administrative staff at the San Fernando court walked off the job on Duke’s advice, citing health and safety concerns.

Duke wrote to the court executive administrator demanding several documents by August 8, but extended the deadline to yesterday after the Judiciary asked for additional time. In a telephone interview yesterday, Duke said, “We have received nothing, mail or e-mail.” He said the Judiciary had clearly shown it had no regard for workers’ health, nor for the negative effect the environment was having on workers’ safety and well-being. 

 “The law is the law and from Monday we will take action at all the courts without notice,” he threatened. Asked what type of action would be taken, Duke did not elaborate, saying action could be taken in a number of ways. On Tuesday, Duke warned PSA members would engage in litigation and militant action all of next week. 

Meanwhile, work at the San Fernando Magistrates Court continued to be affected, particularly cash transactions. On some days the cashier’s booth remained closed, whereas on other days it closed early, as was the situation yesterday, when a sign said it would close at 11.15 am.  The action has also put a strain on the justices of the peace and even the magistrates, who sometimes have to do the job of a notetaker, since only two notetakers are working.