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Plaintiffs testify in Sun Beach Hotel case

Jan 23, 2012, 1:05 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

Foday Lunbang Jarju and seven others that instituted a civil suit against their former employer, Sun Beach Hotel, recently testified in their ‘wrongful termination’ claim against the defendant, at the Industrial Tribunal.

The plaintiffs are claiming D133, 332 being payment of notice of termination of employment, payment of leave due and unpaid other terminal benefits as well as unpaid twelve months salary of one of the plaintiffs.

Testifying on his behalf and six other plaintiffs, Foday Lunbang Jarju said he lives in Bakau Sanchaba and that he started working with the defendant in November 2002.

“On 6 May 2010, while at work at the Sun Beach Hotel, a Memo was released from the personnel office to staff and management, requesting staff to apply for a four-month leave without salary,” he stated.

The said memo was tendered in evidence as an exhibit.

Asked whether they complied with the memo, the plaintiff told the tribunal that they complied with the memo saying: “It was revealed that priority with the assignment will be given to concerned staff for their understanding.”

The plaintiff testified that after they applied it was approved by the management.

According to him, when the first three months elapsed without salary, management wrote a letter to them to go for extra two months without wages.

 The said letter was identified by the witness dated 3 June 2010, and was admitted and tendered in evidence.

“I refused to do so with two other plaintiffs because it was not in our favour,” he explained, testifying further that the five other plaintiffs chose to go for the extra two months without salary.

“The management wrote a disciplinary letter to me, which was held at the hotel and that I went with a representative for the hearing,” he added.

“Whilst on the meeting, they seek advice from my union representative, who in turn advised them that they must talk to the staff to go for half salary payment or put them on redundancy,” said the plaintiff.

Still on his evidence, he claimed that sometime after the hearing, he was served with a termination letter.

The said letter dated 20 December 2006, was recognised by the witness and tendered in evidence.

He told the tribunal he reported the matter to the Labour Department about the termination of his services.

However, the plaintiff indicated that the defendant paid him two months’ salary in lieu of notice.

He told the tribunal that his employment was ended on 29 November 2010.

“During the meeting at the Labour Department, the six other plaintiffs were also served with a termination letter and also paid two months’ salary in lieu of notice except Foday Sanneh,” said the plaintiff.

He asserted that his union representative also brought the matter to the Labour Department and the management was called onto a meeting on three occasions concerning the issue.

He said that the Labour also wrote to the hotel to pay the staff on redundancy purposes but they did not comply with the letter.

A reminder was sent to them but they also refused to comply before the matter was brought before the court, he explained.

The case was at this juncture adjourned till 7 February 2012.