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Uncle Sam Security Company dragged to court

Oct 17, 2011, 1:36 PM | Article By: Adama K. Jallow

Uncle Sam Security Company was recently dragged to the Industrial Tribunal by one Modou Fatty for his annual leave and wrongful termination.

In his testimony, the plaintiff, Modou Fatty, told the tribunal he was employed by the defendant’s company on 26 June 2000 as a security guard.

He said that on 23 October 2000, he was promoted as an operation officer, i.e. the head of the operation, and in 2007 he was deployed as Revenue Collection Manager without a letter.

“In 2008, I was redeployed to head of operation as operation commander due to the heavy losses which the company was having in its contract,” the plaintiff added.

He further revealed that the company hired a British national and a Ghanaian national but both failed, which was why he was taken back to his previous position. 

“On 10 January 2010, I requested for my first vacation after ten years of service without any leave, after I got my American visa,” he stated.

A vehicle was allocated to him with a driver that would drive him to work and back home, he said, adding that one day he assigned the driver to drop him home with a pole, the transportation for which he bought his own fuel at D150.

Some days later, the plaintiff continued, he was called by the general manager, Pa Alieu Jallow, who told him he was informed by people that he used his vehicle to carry loads.

“There I apologised to him and said that I only asked the driver to drop me a pole to my house for which I bought my own fuel.

He said Pa Alieu Jallow asked him why he did that without informing him, adding that he replied to Jallow that he was the one who allowed him to use the vehicle any time if he got fuel and that was the reason he used the vehicle.

He said he apologised again and the case was put to rest.

Furthermore, the plaintiff told the tribunal that on 17 May, he went to West African School for a meeting and after leaving the meeting, he passed by NAWEC for cash power, adding that the supervisor was then waiting for him for another meeting.

“While at NAWEC, I got a phone call from Jallow asking me to stop everything and return to the office,” he said. “I asked him to give me some minutes to sort out the cash power issue. Mr Jallow told me if I could not go straightaway let the driver return the vehicle to the office immediately.”

He said that when he returned to the office, he went to Jallow’s office to let him know he was back from NAWEC.

“There I told Jallow: ‘I had called your cell phone but could not get through to you and that I went to the meeting which you assigned me,” he explained.

He said that Jallow asked him not to use the vehicle any more, either official or for private use, and that he should use his own fair or one of the motorbikes.

The plaintiff further revealed to the tribunal that he realised that since Jallow’s wife was appointed, his numbers were no longer with him and that Jallow had given him the vehicles for so long to be under his control even when Jallow would travel.

There Jallow told him that it was a privileged given to him and it had been seized, he said.

Fatty further stated that he returned to the office on 18 May only to be using a motorbike for official use or a taxi with his own money.

He added that on 20 May, he went for a meeting at BSIC in which Jallow left him at the office and he also took a motorbike and later joined him at the meeting.

He said that from the meeting, Jallow gave him five different assignments and when he stepped out of the office, he could not find any motorbike. He then asked Jallow if he could use the vehicle, but Jallow told him he was not permitted to use any of them.

He said that later one of the motorbikes arrived and he was asked to use that bike but he refused to use it because it was not in good order as it had no break or insurance.

‘I went to complain to Jallow’s wife that it had then been three days since he stopped me from using them [the vehicles] after been called back to the office. The wife said that Jallow had asked me to use the bike and I refused,” said the plaintiff.

Fatty said he responded in the affirmative, because he could not risk his life.

“On 21 May, I got a suspension letter for three days. I replied to that letter by a letter handwritten,” he adduced, adding that later he received a text message from Mr Jallow asking him to go to the office to complete a private assignment that he gave him or else he would get a bigger problem or be asked to return the money (for the job).

Fatty said he replied to him that he could not complete the assignment while under suspension, but if he needed the money, he would return it to him.

“Mr Jallow again text me to come to the office and when I got to the office, I got the assignment completed,” he said.

“Later I was given a demotion and transfer letter. Since I knew that the case was going too far, I started keeping copies of his letters,” the plaintiff revealed.

He said he told Jallow his appointment did not include a transfer operation, but had the right to effect demotion.

Still testifying, he said that Jallow asked him that if he could not do that, let him stay home, adding that after two days without receiving a letter from him, he decided to report the matter to the Labour Department.

He said some days later he got a phone call from Jallow of redeployment and he gave him a letter of disciplinary action.

He said during the hearing he asked why he should not be dismissed for refusing to be transferred to another company and was told it had nothing to do with his appointment.

The next day he was given a letter of termination and he received the letter with a cheque for D22,000.

Hearing continues.