Last year, a worker at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Timehri, made a complaint to the management of that state-owned entity.
She claimed that one of the most senior managers sexually harassed her when she visited his office.
The worker complained to management and it was only recently after enquiries that she was told the matter was “addressed”.
Yesterday, Chief Executive Officer of the airport, Ramesh Ghir, when contacted, admitted that a complaint was filed but there was little evidence to take actions.
“So it was brought to the attention of the airport. The airport investigated. We were unable to confirm (something happened) to take further action,” Ghir said in a short statement to Kaieteur News.
The issue would raise a debate about the country’s attitude to sexual harassment in the work place.
In this specific case, the employee works for a prominent company that has a concession at the airport.
The woman apparently had cause to visit the office of the senior official in late July to resolve an issue over a vehicle belonging to her employer that had its wheels locked because of an outstanding ticket.
Kaieteur News was told that the vehicle had a permit. The employee went to the senior official to ask him to resolve the matter. The vehicle would be left at the airport whenever her bosses went overseas.
The woman who has been working several years at the airport was on good relations with the official, albeit one of mutual respect.
However, on the day, the woman said she had received some tragic news of a relative dying and was upset when she was in the room.
It was during the conversation that the official invited her to drink after work, indicating that it was his birthday.
The woman said she was leaving when the official blocked the door then kissed her suddenly.
The worker claimed she did not give consent to be touched or kissed.
Shocked, she went back to her office and threw up.
Kaieteur News was told that the next day, she made a complaint, meeting with Ghir and a Human Resources official. She even tendered a statement.
There was no confrontation between her and the senior official.
In fact, several months passed without a word from management.
It was only recently, almost a year later, that the woman said she received a Whatsapp message from a Human Resources official indication that the matter was “addressed”.
The woman queried what that meant but it was not explained.
The CJIA is the country’s main airport with scores of employees. There are strict codes that are supposed to govern employees’ behaviour.
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