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Tuesday 24 October 2017
News

Swissport is operating legally

At a glance

After an advertisement seeking foreign workers who can speak English, aviation company Swissport insists they are operating legally.

Statement from their lawyer calls them a “responsible employer”.

Swissport Trinidad and Tobago has said that it is compliant with all local labour laws and regulations and was doing nothing illegal in TT.

Addressing comments in the media regarding its operations and labour policies following an advertisement in which it was seeking foreign workers who speak English, Swissport, in a release issued by its attorney-at-law Vivek Lakhan-Joseph said, it prides itself on “its longstanding reputation as a competent and efficient provider in the service of the aeronautical industry of Trinidad and Tobago.”

As a “responsible employer,” Swissport said, it also places “great value on ensuring that respect permeates its organisation and operations” and “remains hopeful that this matter will be resolved promptly and having due regard to the respective rights of the parties.”

Lakhan Joseph said that given “the far reaching and damning content being circulated, Swissport is constrained at this stage to provide an urgent and interim response.

The response was in relation “to the specific statements which have been recently broadcast and/or published in the media regarding certain contractual, employment and/or other issues in relation to the company.”

His client, he said, “disputes any illegality on its end but still remains desirous of arriving at an amicable resolution.”

Swissport, he said, “maintains that it strictly abides by both the legal processes of the country as well as to well established principles of good industrial relations practice. This seems to be paramount now more than ever especially having regard to the nature of the action being threatened.

Swissport’s response follows a recent remarks made by Public Service Association President Watson Duke that the company was infringing on the rights of its workers. Duke claimed that employees at Piarco and ANR Robinson international airports were being forced to work long hours with no scheduled lunch or bathroom breaks.

Duke also questioned an advertisement the company placed recently in a daily newspaper in which it was seeking foreign nationals who speak English to work in TT as baggage handlers, gas and diesel mechanics, supervisors, cargo agents and aviation security agents.

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