Finance Minister Colm Imbert. – Parliament
FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert has said 41 employees of the Educational Facilities Company Ltd (EFCL) will lose their jobs with the company’s closure.
He was replying to a listed question by Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh in the House of Representatives on Friday.
Indarsingh said retrenchment notices were served effective from March 3, after the Government had announced the EFCL’s closure in February.
Imbert said the EFCL was engaged in a live action in the High Court and owing to the sub-judice rule it would not be prudent for him to say any more.
Indarsingh asked if the 41 people had been paid their retrenchment money.
Imbert replied, “That is precisely why I do not wish to say any more on this matter. It is sub judice.”
Indarsingh said he was perplexed by Imbert’s reply.
“Can the minister state why the Government is violating the Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act?”
Imbert accused him of twisting his words.
“I was very careful with my words. I did not use the word ‘retrenchment.’ I made absolutely no reference to the Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act.
“What I said is that the contracts of employment had been terminated pursuant to the terms in those contracts of employment. I will not allow the Member for Couva South to trap me into saying something that is incorrect.
“There was no retrenchment. The contracts were terminated in accordance with the terms of those contracts.”