A female security guard attached to the Mt Irvine Beach Hotel is calling for proper compensation from her employers after she was severely injured on the job in September 2019.
Christal Caesar was employed at the hotel for nine months before the accident occurred.
In an exclusive interview with Tobago Today, Caesar said on September 21 last year, while doing routine patrol in the company’s golf cart, it hit a hole, flipped and landed on her, severely fracturing her left hand.
“It was a Saturday morning, we had to turn off the lights, we were short-staffed it was just myself and another individual was at work. The hole was not visible how the grass was not cut and it threw me off. My right leg was hooked up on the cart still and the cart dragged me a few feet in which it landed on top of me, I was pinned under the cart itself. I had to take my cell phone and call the Night Auditor at the front desk and it took four people to lift the cart off of me and pull me from underneath the cart…I knew my hand was broken because I heard the crack,” she recalled.
Caesar said her fracture was very severe and she was sent to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope where she underwent surgery and pins were placed in her hand. She said to date she still experiences severe pain and is unable to effectively move her hand or work.
Caesar said after her surgery she returned to Tobago and visited the hotel on October 15, 2019, to drop off sick leave, medical bills and other documents and was given “static” for her salary and other benefits. She claimed no one at the managerial level has called about her welfare and she now feels as though she has been left in the cold. She claimed since the incident she has not been given any form of compensation but was given a fortnightly sum of $1,500 which ended in March this year.
“The old HR told me that the company had to pay me. I received nothing from them, just $1,500 per fortnight, I guess that was supposed to be salary, but that stopped in March. The new HR told me that would be my last payment because it was going on six months and their doctor will have to evaluate me, that’s not a problem… No one called to say anything else. Since October I inquired about workmen’s compensation but I have not been given any updates,” she said.
“Now with this COVID-19 situation, I don’t know what to do. Apparently, there’s a WhatsApp chat for people who need social assistance and I wasn’t even included. I was injured on the job and it’s like no one cares and like I have to fend for myself.
“My doctor bills are piling up, I have all my documents to show from clinic trips to Trinidad, medication and all of that. I am the one who always have to do the calling and I was recently told because of the COVID-19 thing, people were sent home and no one knows what will be my position.”
Caesar also claimed NIS forms were submitted to the company for the relevant signatures but she is yet to be given feedback.
Contacted for a comment on the issue, Mt Irvine Beach Hotel Executive Assistant Ronda Bacchus refused to comment, saying she was not at liberty to divulge any information. However, she indicated that manager Alpha Lorde would return our call. Up to press time, however, Tobago Today had not been contacted.