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Dear McKoy: Is Slavery Not Illegal?


Dear McKoy,

“I worked with a security company here in Jamaica and after five weeks on the job, I have not received a payment.

The owner of the company told us we will be paid fortnightly and he would keep one fortnight in the back.

We called and spoke with him on the phone twice and he said he’s having problems with the manager of the company who is away on business as he didn’t sign the cheques.

However several persons including yours truly saw the manager in question and he told a security supervisor the cheque was signed by the relevant persons and paid to the owner of the company a week ago before he went on business.

Several attempts were made to reach Mr. Henry. His secretary keeps telling us he’s away on business and cannot be reached.

We went to Ministry of Labor and we were advised to continue working as we couldn’t sue if we stop now even tho we haven’t received a salary.

However, we all have responsibilities and had to seek employment elsewhere.

Is it possible that the secretary is in conspiracy with the owner of the company and is aware of his dishonesty? Can legal actions be taken up against the secretary in order for her to talk about his whereabouts, so we can get our five weeks salary? Is the information given to us by Ministry of labor correct? Please help us we need our salary to clear ourselves of five weeks debts!”


Response by Shena Carty: All the unpaid employees need to contact an attorney. The Security company’s owner is responsible for your paychecks, not the secretary. He needs to be held accountable. His record needs to reflect his actions.

Also, contact Ministry of Labor again and make them aware of where the situation stands now and see what advice they have to give. If you hire an attorney, speaking to the ministry isn’t necessary. He will know how to proceed.

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