THE Ramsaran's company has denounced comments made by employee and family member Naila Ramsaran and has fired her from the company, a media release said on Wednesday afternoon.
The release said Ramsaran, referred to as a "close family member of the owners of the organisation," was dismissed as a result of posts she made on social media.
The company also apologised to the public for her remarks. It added that the company has remained true to its mandate to serve people of all ethnicities and backgrounds.
"Given these unfortunate developments, we have taken urgent and active steps to part ways with the employee and author of the subject comments and statements, the content of which cannot and will not be tolerated by us.
"While the said employee cannot speak on our behalf, even by association, we must unreservedly extend our apologies nationwide and to all those who have been impacted by the statements which were utterly unacceptable and reprehensible."
Referring to the comments as "damaging and offensive," the company said such remarks were not in keeping with its views and beliefs.
DON'T LET THEM SUFFER
President of the San Juan Business Association (SJBA) Vivek Charran says while the remarks were offensive and distasteful, her family's company should not be made to suffer for her online behaviour.
Speaking with Newsday on Wednesday, Charran said the person who made the comments should be held directly accountable and contended that while such comments are inappropriate, innocent workers of the company should not be made to pay the price.
"In the election you saw these kinds of comments surface from time to time. The remarks she made were unfortunate and she was responsible enough to apologise but obviously the damage has been done. However, one must separate the business entity from the person.
"If this was a situation where the actual business entity had made those comments or the CEO or owner had made those comments, it would have been a different issue. But we have to understand that when we punish a business, we are punishing the workers, innocent people who are stakeholders to that business. In this time of covid19 when people are struggling, that is something that must be borne in mind," Charran said.
Newsday also spoke to writer and social commenter Corey Gilkes, who said an apology from the company would not be enough and felt a more practical approach should be adopted by companies to change negative and inflammatory narratives and behaviours.
Referring to a recent advertisement by a fast food chain which stirred controversy, Gilkes said it was not good enough for companies to say they are against racism and racial stereotyping, they should take a proactive approach to ending inequity through programmes and initiatives.
"If that company issued an apology, did they make restitution? The majority of their customers come from depressed urban and rural communities.
"At what point has corporate Trinidad recognised that most of their employees and many of their customers come from poor, depressed communities? What restitution have they made in terms of funding social programmes in these areas?" Gilkes asked.
He said it is unfortunate that such perceptions continue to exist and a critical examination of these attitudes which continue to take root in society is necessary to change racist and elitist ideologies.