Former IDT Adjudicator Calls for Review of Labour Laws

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A former member of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal, IDT, is calling for a review of Jamaica’s labour laws.

The former IDT member, Rion Hall, is supporting a call made by at least three groups representing local businesses, for a revision of the country’s Labour Laws of 1976. Mr. Hall says the labour laws cause the IDT to favour employees.

According to Mr. Hall, the laws were designed to be employee-oriented.

Mr. Hall says as things stand, the IDT will rule in favour of an employee even if the worker has done something wrong, as long as the employer breaks the tribunal’s procedure. He says when he got to the IDT in 2010, he pushed for this practice to be amended.

Meanwhile, President of the Jamaica Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, JMEA, Metry Seaga, says the government has been slow to respond to requests from business owners that would make them more compliant with labour laws when it comes to dismissing employees.

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News Credit: Nation Wide Radio | Read here http://nationwideradiojm.com/former-idt-adjudicator-calls-for-review-of-labour-laws/

12 In Custody following Police-Military Operation in August Town

A wanted man is among twelve people who are now in custody following a joint police/military operation in August Town where violence has erupted again.

A man was killed and another seriously injured shortly before noon yesterday.

Dead is Andrew Marriot, from Goldsmith Villa in August Town.

Reports are shortly before noon yesterday, Marriot was among a group of men who were attacked by heavily armed men.

Marriot and another man were shot. They were rushed to the hospital where Marriot was pronounced dead.

The other man was admitted in serious but stable condition.

Police say the men they picked up yesterday afternoon are from the Bedward Gardens area of the community.

The wanted man who was among those arrested was also found in possession of several rounds of ammunition.

There’s been a flare-up of violence in August Town since the start of the year.

Two people were killed on New Years day, while a number of others have been murdered in the past two months.

The police recently imposed a curfew in the area that covers parts of Goldsmith Villa, and are maintaining a heavy presence in the area.

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News Credit: Nation Wide Radio | Read here http://nationwideradiojm.com/12-in-custody-following-police-military-operation-in-august-town/

Williams Instructs Petrojam Technical Team to Probe ‘Bad Gas’ Concerns

Newly appointed Energy Minister, Fayval Williams, has instructed a technical team at Petrojam to investigate reports about another batch of bad gas being produced at the state-owned oil refinery.

A resident from Portmore, St. Catherine, called our news centre recently, complaining of a foul odour coming from the refinery.

And a report in the Sunday Gleaner yesterday also claims that Petrojam employees have been complaining of an odour on the compound.

The newspaper also reports that a recent batch of fuel may be affecting the performance of some vehicles.

Minister Williams says in light of the reports, she met with the chairman of the board, Paul Hoo and Acting Manager at Petrojam, Telroy Morgan yesterday. She says she’ll update the country following additional meetings with entities which interact with Petrojam.

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News Credit: Nation Wide Radio | Read here http://nationwideradiojm.com/williams-instructs-petrojam-technical-team-to-probe-bad-gas-concerns/

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Thousands Across Corporate Area Without Water after Collapse of Golden Bridge

Thousands of people across the corporate area are without water this morning, following the collapse of the Golden Bridge in Stony Hill, St. Andrew, yesterday.

The collapsed bridge is also forcing thousands more to seek alternative routes out of their communities in order to get to work or school.

Communications Manager at the National Water Commission, NWC, Charles Buchanan, says the collapse of the bridge has forced the Commission to shut down it’s fourth largest treatment plant in the corporate area.

Mr. Buchanan says the NWC will assess the damage today to determine how long customers will be without water.

Reports are shortly before 10 yesterday morning, a heavy duty truck was traveling along the bridge when it partially collapsed.

Rubble from the collapsed bridge fell onto NWC pipes that take water from the Seaview Treatment Plant into sections of the corporate area.

Member of Parliament for West Rural St. Andrew, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, says approximately 2,000 people in different communities are served by the Golden Bridge. She says there will be major disruptions for people traversing the communities.

Meanwhile, Kingston’s Mayor, Delroy Williams says a technical team will visit the area today to asses the damage. He says the team will also try to determine alternative routes for the thousands of people affected by the collapsed bridge.

Mayor Williams says initial assessments suggest the bridge will have to be completely rebuilt.

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News Credit: Nation Wide Radio | Read here http://nationwideradiojm.com/thousands-across-corporate-area-without-water-after-collapse-of-golden-bridge/

Each MBU match is a final – Gama

Montego Bay United’s Eric Acquah (left) gets ahead of Humble Lion opponent Cory Hylton to win the ball during their Red Stripe Premier League match at the Effortville Community Centre in Effortville, Clarendon yesterday. Ian Allen/Photographer

Montego Bay United’s (MBU) Brazilian coach, Luciano Gama, said a point from their 1-1 draw in their Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) game at the Effortville Community Centre yesterday was not enough, but that they will continue to prepare for their remaining six games as if they are all finals.

MBU took the lead against the hosts through a third-minute penalty from Keneil Kirlew, but Jermaine Christian’s equaliser two minutes after the break secured a point for Humble Lion.

“I am sorry we could not hold that advantage,” Gama said. “We just sorry about the results. It’s one point to bring back to home, but it is not enough for what we needed. It’s not good. One point is not what we needed. Also, because we started in front, maybe if the situation was like last week, we would celebrate, but we are sorry because we scored the goal first. Maybe if we could have held the points, as the three points are very important to us. We don’t get (points) but we are going to work hard and try find that next weekend.”

GREAT CHANCES

Humble Lion struggled to break down the MBU defence, but they got great chances through Renae Lloyd and Cory Hylton, but two execellent stops from veteran goalkeeper Jacomeno Barrett kept them at bay.

Humble Lion came to life after the equaliser and they had a number of chances to take the lead, but wasteful shooting and good goalkeeping from Barrett kept the scores level.

However, near the end, MBU nearly stole the points, but Jeadine White made a fine double save from a free kick and then from ace striker Dino Williams to save his team’s blushes.

Humble Lion coach O’Neil Thompson said the problem that has plagued them all season cost them the three points.

“We are not capitalising on the chances that we are creating,” he said. “But the creation level was up today compared to the last game. I am pleased with the amount of chances we created, but we’re not converting the chances we have for the points.”

MoBay stayed bottom on 21 points, while Humble Lion remain eighth with 31 points.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190218/each-mbu-match-final-gama

Windies to maintain focus

File
Pybus

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):

Fresh off a historic Test series win over England, interim Windies head coach Richard Pybus wants the home side to execute their plans in the upcoming five-match one-day international (ODI) series.

The Windies recently defeated England 2-1 to capture the Wisden Trophy for the first time in more than a decade.

The two sides will meet at Kensington Oval on Wednesday for the first match of the ODI series.

Pybus said morale was high among the team and the players were eagerly looking forward to the challenge.

“We’re coming off the back of a Test series win and we’ve still got a couple players travelling back into the squad and we’re looking forward to them arriving, but the guys are very keen to take on England.

“I was delighted with the outcome of Test series. I would have loved it to be 3-0, but the loss of Jason (Holder) and then Keemo (Paul) with a quad pull, that set us back in the Test match, but I thought the guys stood up very, very well,” Pybus said.

“We have clear plans, but great planning doesn’t mean you’re going to execute, so all credit to Jason and the players; they were absolutely superb. They showed tremendous commitment and discipline and they spoke about what they wanted to deliver and they really did. Taking that into the series now we will be getting this ODI squad together doing the same planning.”

The Windies had to make three changes because of injuries to key players and will also have to do without the services of Shannon Gabriel for the first four ODIs because of suspension.

However, Pybus said he expected the new faces to step up to the plate if called upon.

“We’re pretty good. Both squads have had a lot of cricket, so our lads have a few aches and pains that we are working through, but I think we’re pretty good,” the head coach said.

“Carlos is back in the squad, so it’s great to have him coming in. Obviously, he’s a wonderful cricketer and coming back into the squad in Barbados is always great, because it’s his favourite ground. Chris Gayle is back into the squad as well, so he brings his formidable expertise and experience … Ashley (Nurse) and Devendra (Bishoo) as well, so we’ve got a few chaps coming in, so we’re really looking forward to getting the squad together.”

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190218/windies-maintain-focus

Williams honoured by Laureus nomination

Collin Reid
Sprinter Briana Williams (right) and coach Ato Boldon.

Speaking ahead of today’s ceremony, Ato Boldon, coach of 16-year-old Jamaican sprinting sensation Briana Williams, says the athlete is thrilled and honoured to be nominated for a Laureus World Sports Award.

Williams commanded attention after winning the sprint double at the World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. She also won three gold medals at the Carifta Games and closed the year with personal-best times of 11.13 seconds in the 100m and 22.50 in the 200m.

She has been nominated in the Breakthrough Athlete of the Year category along with 20-year-old US Open winner Naomi Osaka; Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the 17-year-old European Championships gold medal winner in the 1500m and 5000m; Spain’s Ana Carrasco, who became the first woman to win a motorcycling world title; skier Sofia Goggia from Italy, who won the Olympic Downhill gold medal and the Downhill World Cup title; and UK cyclist Geraint Thomas, the Tour de France winner.

WILLIAMS EXCITED

Boldon toldThe Gleaner that Williams was excited and motivated to be rubbing shoulders with sporting royalty.

“I think that’s (meeting sporting stars) her main motivation for the trip. Since she found out she was nominated, even before we could reveal it, she was excited to meet Lewis Hamilton, and Naomi Osaka and hopefully Serena Williams, and so on. She’s 16, and that’s a big part of the trip for her,” Boldon said through a series of text messages from Monte Carlo.

“For me, I have been introducing her to people that I know she has no idea who they are. So she has met Marcus Allen from the Oakland Raiders and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. She has met Cafu and Edwin Moses, as well as Sergey Bubka. She has no idea how great any of these people are, but that’s part of my job to explain to her. She has been having a good time so far and it will only get better at the actual gala,” Boldon further shared.

Boldon added that they were both surprised by the nomination and pointed out that Williams has handled the increased international attention well.

“She had a great year and would I have nominated her? Yes, but this is the Oscars for sports, so it is a pleasant surprise. She was surprised as well, but very flattered and honoured,” Boldon said.

“I don’t worry about Briana being overwhelmed by the attention; she wants to be great. She knows enough about the sport to know that this is a part of it. Briana has been groomed to be a star on and off the track. She is experiencing some things for the first time – people outside wanting to take her picture and asking for autographs, people coming up to her – little kids from India knowing who she is and so on.

“To keep it in context, I know how important this is for Jamaica, for the Caribbean and for young women, and she is representing all three here,” Boldon said.

The Laureus World Sports Awards will take place at the prestigious Salle des Etoiles, part of The Sporting Club Monte Carlo.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190218/williams-honoured-laureus-nomination

Girona stun Real

AP
Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale (left) tries to tap the ball past Girona goalkeeper Yassine ‘Bono’ Bounou (right) during a LaLiga match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain, yesterday.

MADRID (AP):

With a home loss to a team that had not won in more than two months, Real Madrid wasted all the hard work that had allowed them to move closer to Barcelona at the top of the Spanish league.

After winning five in a row to cut Barcelona’s lead to six points, Madrid were stunned 2-1 by relegation-threatened Girona at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium yesterday, and are now nine points behind their rivals in third.

“It’s a shame that we let these points slip by,” Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari said. “We were coming off a good run and we were getting closer to the lead.”

Girona, who had not won in 13 matches in all competitions, and were coming off six straight losses, scored two second-half goals to reverse a 1-0 half-time deficit.

The Catalan club had not won in the league since November and had entered the weekend one point above the relegation zone. Their last win in all competitions had been on December 5 against Alaves in the Copa del Rey.

“It’s a well-deserved prize after several matches without being able to win,” Girona coach Eusebio Sacristan said. “We deserved the victory after the way we played in the second half.”

Girona, who moved to 15th, had lost twice to Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey last month, being outscored 7-3. They eliminated Atletico Madrid in the round of 16 on away goals after consecutive draws.

MADRID NOW THIRD

The surprise loss dropped Madrid to third place after the weekend matches. Atletico Madrid moved to second again after defeating Rayo Vallecano 1-0 on Saturday to halt a two-game losing streak in the league. Barcelona edged Valladolid 1-0 with a penalty kick converted by Lionel Messi at Camp Nou Stadium to end a three-game winless run in all competitions.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190218/girona-stun-real

AG: Ramharrack gag was wrong

Ian Allen/Photographer
Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte discusses with Prime Minister Andrew Holness a section of the ministry paper on the use of non-disclosure agreements in public-sector contracts in Gordon House on Tuesday.

Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte says the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) between the scandal-ridden state-owned oil refinery Petrojam and its former human resource manager Yolande Ramharrack was “ill-advised”.

“Non-disclosure clauses are useful where there is a good reason to protect the information being held confidential. I think we can all agree that the use of the non-disclosure agreement in that contract in question was ill-advised and bad. I don’t think there is doubt at all about it, in light of all of the circumstances,” Malahoo Forte, who advises the Cabinet on legal matters, told The Gleaner. “But we shouldn’t throw away a good tool because it has been poorly, badly or ill-advisedly applied in a particular case.”

Last week, details of Ramharrack’s $13.3-million deal with Petrojam, which were initially shielded from the public under an NDA, were made public. She walked away with $4.1 million after deductions.

Ramharrack, who was hired without the required academic qualifications, was facing 19 disciplinary charges for allegedly utilising her position to cause improper use of Petrojam funds, among other things, when she resigned. The settlement agreement was signed on November 14 and approved the following day.

In an interview withThe Gleaner after the ceremonial opening of Parliament last Thursday, Malahoo Forte said that while NDAs are not uncommon, the one signed with Ramharrack was not appropriate.

“Settlement agreements are not uncommon, termination agreements are not uncommon, use of confidentiality clauses is not uncommon. In the particular circumstances of the HR manager, I think that the use of the confidentiality clause was wrong,” the attorney general said.

policy to fix issue

She expressed hope that a policy direction tabled in Parliament recently will iron out these issues.

“Statutory bodies can be sued and sue in their own right, and they can consult with their own lawyer. You’d note that the recent policy direction that was tabled in Parliament mandates the statutory bodies – the board of the bodies – to consult with the relevant minister if there’s an issue in respect of a non-disclosure agreement that is likely to be controversial. So if you look on the three-pronged guidance that has been given by the prime minster, it should cover, once implemented, the issues that arose in the Petrojam matter,” Malahoo-Forte said.

[email protected]

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20190218/ag-ramharrack-gag-was-wrong

All systems go for KPMG League

Rachid Parchment
Chris Hind, president of the Jamaica Squash Association (left), happily accepts a sponsorship cheque for $300,000 from Tarun Handa, managing partner for KPMG in Jamaica, for the 20th annual KPMG Squash League. The 2019 edition of the flagship tournament was launched at the Liguanea Club on Saturday.

The 20th staging of the KPMG League, one of the most highly anticipated events on the local squash calendar, will kick off tomorrow.

Close to 60 players will contest the team-based competition that is distinguished by its handicap format, which creates a level playing field across genders, age groups and skill levels. The unique seeding system ensures intensively competitive matches throughout the tournament, and most players have a genuine shot at progressing through the ranks as the contest unfolds.

CONTENDERS

Defending champions The Cereal Killers will be looking for a repeat win, with All Jamaica Under-15 boys’ champion Tobias Levy heading the line-up. However, standing firmly in their way are last year’s runners-up, The Saints, as well as 2018 semi-finalists Stoneleigh Coffee, both of whom have refreshed their slates in a bid to go the distance this time around.

Another team to watch is former champions the Milex Eagles, whose roster includes former Caribbean junior champions Akelia and Larissa Wiltshire, as well as former All Jamaica junior champion, Tahjia Lumley. Also in the mix are the newly formed Power Bolts, which feature junior national champions Savannah Thomson and Aman Dhiman, current holders of the Under-13 titles.

At a ceremony held at the Liguanea Club on Saturday, KPMG handed over their $300,000 sponsorship contribution to officially launch the tournament.

President of the Jamaica Squash Association, Chris Hind, said, “The 20th anniversary of the KPMG League is a major milestone as it cements KPMG’s position as one of the longest-standing supporters of Jamaican squash, and it marks the continuation of a tournament that the entire squash community looks forward to contesting and supporting each year.”

Managing partner for KPMG in Jamaica, Tarun Handa, said: “KPMG keeps coming back as sponsors because this tournament creates a huge amount of camaraderie It’s one of the most outstanding competitions, in terms of the quality of play, the sportsmanship, and the level of crowd support, and it continues to get bigger every year, and we’re pleased to align our brand with it.”

The 2019 KPMG Squash League is scheduled to run for six weeks. The four-week round-robin competition will be followed by a three-stage knockout round and a plate competition. All matches will be played at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting at 5 p.m.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190218/all-systems-go-kpmg-league