The Honourable Ramona Ramdial, Member of Parliament for Couva North is calling for the immediate resignation of the Board of Directors of Angostura Holdings Limited and for a new investigation to be launched into the sexual harassment allegations made by a former female employee.
It is quite blatant that this incident was badly handled from the onset as due process should have been followed and a proper investigation by the police should have been conducted into these allegations.
On the surface it appears as though Angostura Holdings Ltd. is victim-blaming in its latest move to fire the female employee. This speaks volumes as to the treatment of women in the boardrooms and workplaces of our country. If anything, it is the alleged sexual predator who should have been suspended or asked to resign while properly conducted investigations took place.
It is quite interesting to see how other developed countries deal with sexual harassment allegations and how their laws, protocols and policies ensure that victims are protected at all times. In recent months we have seen the USA being rocked by a spate of sexual harassment scandals where the alleged sexual predators have been fired or have resigned. Not even high profile celebrities like Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer have escaped.
In Trinidad and Tobago we need strong policy and legislation to protect our women against sexual harassment. Furthermore, if this is how a whistle-blower is treated under this regime, misbehaviour and corruption in public office will continue to reign.
The government of the day however seems helpless if not utterly oblivious to women’s rights as Angostura Holdings Ltd. is a state company and we have heard nothing from the line minister or the Prime Minister.