At a function to launch ‘Volume One of the Law Reports (1965 to 1975)’ of the Industrial Court, at NAPA on Thursday, Mc Leod said he was proud of the work done by the court.
Speaking to those who attended the launch, Mc Leod implored government to settle the long-outstanding issue of security of tenure for Industrial Court judges. “They have served TT well and their independence must now be cemented by such an improvement,” urged Mc Leod.
Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGOs (FITUN) head Joseph Remy, and National Trade Union Centre (NATUC) secretary general Michael Annisette, both endorsed Mc Leod’s views.
Annisette said Industrial Court judges should be given the same terms and conditions, and tenure, as High Court judges.
He said it hurt him personally to see the terms and conditions of Industrial Court judges after they’d given their lifeblood to the nation. “I want to thank all the Industrial Court judges — those who are here and those who are gone — for a job well done,” hailed Annisette.
He said it was important for judges to have security of tenure, because of the important role they play in stabilising society.
“Their lot cannot be based on anyone’s whims and fancies,” he said.
Annisette said the great record of the rulings of the Industrial Court has proven the ability of local judges to administer justice freely and ethically.
“Those persons who are fearful of West Indian judges to properly manage the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) must take a page from the book of TT’s Industrial Court,” said Annisette.
In her feature address, Industrial Court President Deborah Thomas-Felix, lamented incidents of violence in labour disputes which she said would act to impede the progress of industrial relations. She said the court’s rulings may help resolve industrial disputes.
Acting Chief Justice Wendell Kangaloo said the Law Reports would enrich TT’s body of jurisprudence and will prove to be an indispensable resource for judges, attorneys and law students.
He hailed the Industrial Court for firmly planting its roots in TT’s judicial terrain by engendering relative calm in the sometimes choppy industrial relations climate.